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MAQAM-E-MAHMUD 

Comprising Seven Chapters on seven important distinctive 
aspects of the Holy Prophet Muhammad's blessed life, this 
book is a modest contribution and addition to the seerah, 
a highly important genre of the Islamic library and an 
outshining star of the whole Muslim intellectual and 
academic enterprise. The book, simultaneously, is a 
restatement of the finality and commonality of Allah's 
Message to mankind through Muhammad Rasul Allah. 

Urdu presentation: 

Ml. Mufti Md. Akhtar Imam Adil Qasmi 


English Version 

Md. Ibrahim Khan 

M.A., PGDTE 
Published by: 

Mufti Zafeeruddin Academy, 

Jamia Rabbani, Jamia Nagar, Manorva Shareef Post Sohma 
Via Bithan Distt. Samastipur, Bihar (India) 



(c) All rights reserved In favour of the publisher. 

Author's Name: 

Ml. Mufti Md. Akhtar Imam Adil Qasmi 


Name of Urdu Title : 

MAQAM-E-MAHMUD 

by 

Ml. Mufti Akhtar Imam Adil Qasmi 


English Version 

Md. Ibrahim Khan 

M.A., P.G.D.T.E. 


Pages : 

433 

Edition : 

Eirst 

Year of Publication : 

2020 

Price : 

INR... 


Published by: 

Mufti Zafeeruddin Academy, 

Jamia Rabbani, Jamia Nagar, Manorva Shareef Post Sohma 
Via Bithan Distt. Samastipur, Bihar (India) 


2 





DEDICATION 


In his description of the Prophet Muhammad 
(SAWS), the great poet of Islam, Hassan bin Thabit al- 
Ansari says 

You have been created free from all faults; 

As though you have been created as per your wish. 

Shaikh Sa'adi of Sheraaz offered his tribute to the 
Prophet in his following celebrated poetic lines: 

By virtue of your accomplishments and perfections 

You climbed up the heights. 

Your radiance disperesed all darknesses. 

Best are your moral traits and behaviour upon you, 

Be peace and blessigngs. 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS 


• IMPRESSION 5 

• FOREWORD 7 

. CHAPTER ONE 19 

ROLE MODEL FOR HUMANITY 

• CHAPTER TWO 33 

PROPHET MUHAMMAD : THE PROPHET FOR ALL 
MANKIND FOR ALL AGES TILL THE END OF THE 
WORLD'S PRESENT STRUCTURE 

• CHAPTER THREE 65 

WORLDWIDE MERCY : THE AGE OF IGNORANCE 

• CHAPTER FOUR 157 

UNEQUALED PATIENCE, FORTITUDE AND COURAGE 

• CHAPTER FIVE 325 

MUHAMMAD (PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALLAH BE 
UPON HIM) AS THE PROPHET OF REVOLUTION 

• CHAPTER SIX 343 

HUMANITY AT THE THRESHOLD OF THE PROPHET 
MUHAMMAD (SAWS) 

• CHAPTER SEVEN 381 

UNIVERSALITY OF THE MESSAGE OF ISLAM 

• BIBLIOGRAPHY 427 


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Impression of this book as expressed by the Late 
Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi, Rector Darul 
Uloom (waqf) Deoband, Vice President AIMPLB 


Muqam-e- Mahmood—Distinctive Features of the 
Seeratun - Nabi is a life account of the Holy Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH). Since the Seerat-e-Muhammadiya 
refers to the life accounts of the Prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH), who embraces all the perfect aspects of the most 
excellent and superb individual out of the entire mankind, 
the writer receives great encouragement from the Unseen 
and experiences the Divine support without fail. A 
complete work on the Seerah must combine all the aspects 
required for an elaborate introduction of the perfect traits 
of humanity. It is because of the fact that Muhammad 
Rasul Allah (PBUH) is the only perfect man who embodies 
in his being all the traits of perfection and human 
superlativity. His Seerah is unique by virtue of that it is 
absolutely incomparable. 

The book in hand has been authored by Maulana 
Mufti Akhtar Imam Adil Qasmi. It seeks to highlight those 
aspects and the distinguishing features of the person or the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which make it the Seerah of 
the most perfect man and the Final Prophet of Allah 
towards the entire mankind. In like manner, it sheds light 
on those universal perfections and unequalled moral 
characteristics which immensely contributed to the 
formation and development of the personality of the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). By virtue of its 
comprehensibility the book comes as a very good guide to 
the life of the Prophet (PBUH), and tells us the accounts of 

5 



his life in an interesting manner. Being a topic of an 
incomparable import, it is obviously too difficult for any 
human being to do justice to it save Allah ta'ala Himself. 
The learned author, however, has left no stone unturned 
to make his work as useful and informative guide to 
Seerah for the readers as possible. The life accounts of the 
Holy Prophet (PBUH) have been presented in a lucid and 
interesting way. May Allah ta'ala enable the learned author 
to produce more works on different aspects of Islamic 
teachings in still useful way. 

Muhammad Salim Qasmi 

January 10,2016 


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FOREWORD 

Much as the seerah of the Holy Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH) is the subject on which, during the 
course of the last fourteen centuries of the Islamic history, 
has been written and read so much in every language and 
idiom of the world that no other subject has ever been so 
fortunate to be treated and read as much. However, 
despite this huge and formidably vast literature on Seerah 
and its multifarious aspects, it would not be proper to 
claim that justice has been done to the topic of Seerah. On 
critically studying this literature as we come across some 
repetitions of the facts, so we encounter many additions as 
well. Each evolving age brings to light some hitherto 
unknown and unexplored aspects the Seerah and every 
new age of the human history lends new direction to the 
study of the Seerah. It is indeed a never-ending chain of 
marvels emerging from the Seerah. In fact, it is the vast 
treasury of knowledge and marvels which reveals a new 
thind each day. With the increasing inventions and 
developments the world is making each day the Seerah of 
the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH), too, has unfailingly 
been revealing its splendid aspects to the world of 
humanity. This testifies to the fact that the Prophet 
Muhammad's noble life and his personal qualities are 
never a matter to be summed up in a few narrow circles 
and limited pages. His name is Muhammad; in earlier 
Scriptures he is named as Ahmad, his highest position with 
Allah ta'ala is Muqam-e-Mahmood ; he will be holding the 
Liwa al- Hamd on the Day of Judgment in presence of the 
entire creation—glory to Allah. The man of such an 


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incomparablly higher position with Allah the Creator must 
command respect and deserve praise and appreciation 
heyond measure and count. No tongue or pen is ever able 
to do justice to the greatness of his Seerah and the accounts 
of his untainted life. 

At ocassions, this humble author, too, had 
opportunities to write about different aspects of the Seerah 
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). And, like the 
last person out of the aspirants of buying Yusuf, 1 have 
always been part of this blessed caravan in the hope that 
maybe my name be placed before the Holy Prophet 
(PBUH), and this might make me attract his intercession 
on the Day of Judgment. 

The book in hand is not something systematically 
written in a chronological order. It is just an anthology of 
my papers written on different occasions under varying 
situations. These pieces of writing in fact are the 
expressions of my deep love and attachment towards the 
Holy Prophet (PBUH) which, with all respect, 1 am 
presenting to him in the present book form. This anthology 
includes my those papers which seek to highlight the 
distinctive features of his blessed Seerah and underscore 
their significance in the contemporary world of 
enlightenment'. In the same breath, it draws a comparison 
between the characteristics of the teachings of the 
preceding Prophets and those of the Khatani al Nabiyyin in 
terms of their comprehensiveness and superiority, thereby 
to establish it that no other Prophet's teachings or the 
cultural and civilisahonal history could be equalled with 
those of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Today the 
world needs more than ever to know and embrace the 

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Message and teachings of the Last Prophet (PBUH). 
Towards this purpose the Muslims are required to double 
their endeavour. 

The book has been arranged in seven chapters. 
These chapters in fact are seven separate papers written on 
different occasions. 

Brief summary of the seven chapters' contents one 

by one:- 

Chapter One 

This is in fact the preparatory chapter, and intends 
to spell out the primary goal of our studying the Seerah of 
the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It tells us , in brief, 
what results a proper study of the Seerah bear. While 
studying the Seerah and goi g through his life accounts a 
believer can not afford to stay empty- minded;he should 
rather seek light and guidance from his blessed life 
remaining closer to him in his faith and perception. The 
Seerah contain a fuller ability to change and reform the 
entire humanity. It is never a matter of the past, with lost 
efficiency. Rather, it is still as much full of vigor and 
capabilities of changing the human life and delivering the 
world from darkness of disbelief to the life of belief and 
faith in the Realities of the Unseen as ever before. Being 
the Last Messenger of Allah towards mankind, with deep 
concern for the guidance of the entire humanity, the thrust 
of this chapter, therefore, is to press home the need to 
study the Seerah of the Prophet (PBUH) in order to bring a 
change in one's life and reshape it along the lines of his 
noble and universal teachings. No other Prophet's seerah 
is now existant in the world without human interpolations 


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and distortions which rendered them beyond recognition. 
Amidst the entire history of the prophethood it is the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) whose life is completely 
enshrined in the living pages of the history. The Seerah of 
the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is in fact a shining book 
which illuminated the world in the past and the world 
needs the same light today. Without having a deep 
conviction in these primary truths any study of the Seerah 
is bound to remain mere an academic exercise, with no 
substential avail. 

Chapter Two 

This chapter seeks to propound the Prophethood of 
Muhammad (PBUH) as the greatest one as compared to 
those of all other Prophets and Messengers of Allah. In the 
process, it spells out that in the entire human history there 
had been no other Prophet than Muhammad (PBUH) to 
have been sent with a Universal Message; whose 
Prophethood transcends all boundaries of times and climes 
; and who has been so successful in leaving his indelible 
imprints on the entire human history. 

Chapter Three 

This chapter discusses in detail the nature and 
scope of Muhammad Rasulullah's supremost character as 
the Messenger of Mercy towards mankind and all the 
worlds. Unlike the messages of the Prophets of the past 
which were addressed to particular people, Muhammad 
(PBUH) is the Final Messenger of Allah raised with a 
universal Message ; and this forms the most outstanding 
feature of his Prophethood. The universality of his 


10 



Message is not a matter of usual character; it is a matter of 
great pride not just for the Muslim Ummah, rather for the 
humanity as whole. In the past, this outstanding feature of 
his Prophethood has been highlighted by many Muslim 
scholars, and a sizable number of books touch upon this 
important aspect. In the Urdu language the work of the 
Late Qazi Sayyid Sulaiman Salman Mansurpuri is 
undoubtedly a masterpiece. This a very useful work. 
Although written strictly in chronological order, the 
author has prepared a separate volume to deal with this 
highly significant feature of the Prophethood of 
Muhammad (PBUH) and has tried his best to do justice to 
it. With the sweet and graceful language and versatility of 
its content, the book stands unique across the spectrum. In 
preparing this chapter 1 have heavily drawn upon this 
work. Its citations and comments on the religions of yore 
have particularly been of immense help. May reward him 
best. This chapter of my book seeks to highlight this 
feature of the Message of Muhammad Rasulullah (PBUH). 

Chapter Four 

Matchless fortitude, consistency, firm resolve in the 
face of suffering, loss, hardships deprivations: the 
life of the Prophets in the mirror of the calamitous 
events iof his life 

In this chapter 1 have attempted to briefly mention 
unutterably sad events of his life, including the notable 
natural disasters which hit life hard. There is a hadith 
which reads as: "The people who suffered the most in their 


11 



worldly life are the Prophets of Allah; then suffered those 
who are below them in gradation. " 

This means that the suffering and afflictions hit the 
Prophets in proportion to their positions with Allah. This 
establishes it beyond doubt that the Grand Nubuwwah and 
the Immamat of the Prophets of Allah is the lot of the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the exclusion of all other 
Prophets. This too has been propounded as an unequalled 
distinction of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is the 
above cited hadith which prompted me to write on this 
topic. Masaibun -Nabi, written by my great teacher Late 
Mufti Muhammad Zafirud Din Miftahi on the suggestion 
of Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani, is a valuable work on 
the topic. Yet 1 could know about it only after completion 
of this chapter , so 1 have not been able to benefit from the 
contents of this book. 

Chapter Five 

Worldwide Revolution: Muhammad Rasulullah 
(PBUH) as the Prophet of Revolution 

This chapter discusses the outstanding aspects of 
the revolutionary character of the Holy Prophet's 
Prophethood in terms of its depth, its all- embracing 
nature, its highly positive and totally constructive effects 
on his contemporary world and in changing the course of 
the human history for ever. Drawing a comparison 
between his miracles and those of the Prophets that 
preceded him, this chapter, among other things, seeks to 
establish his superiority over all other Prophets. The 
teachings he bequeathed to the world are far too 


12 



comprehensive and illumined evey aspect of human life 
for ever. Amidst the long list of the Prophets we have none 
other than him who effected the whole of mankind so 
greatly. Maulana Wahidu Din Khan's Peghamber-e- Inqilab 
is a very comprehensive work in this regard. Though the 
latter work is decades earlier, 1 could not benefit from it. 

Chapter Six 

Universal Refuge: mankind on the threshold of the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 

This chapter is dedicated to discuss the Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH)'s all- embracing and all- inclusive 
attitude towards the entire mankind. With his advent to all 
classes of humanity of all times and climes, Muhammad 
Rasulullah (PBUH), like his teachings, was absolutely free 
from all the prejudices and inhuman considerations of 
creed, caste, colour and geographical boundaries. No one 
ever got disappointed with him after approaching him. 
Even the most ardent enemies of his religion and person 
were never deprived of his magnanimity and the vast 
shade of his forgiveness. He never turned down the 
request of a person in need; he always offered his 
maximum help to the people in distress instead. His 
magnanimity, his superlatively high moral attitude 
towards the friends and foes stand incomparable in the 
entire human history. This chapter has been prepared in 
the light of the ahadith and narrations scattered 
throughout the hadith and the Seerah literature. 


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Chapter Seven 


Worldwide Plan for the Propagation of the Message 
of Islam 

By its contents this chapter seeks to present the 
Message of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and its way 
of propagation he adopted as a worldwide strategy to 
introduce it to all sections of mankind. In the process, it 
asserts, among other things, that success is the lot of only 
those propagation drives and movements whose work is in 
lines , both in content and import, with the way and 
approach of the Prophet (PBUH). Its effects shall be felt 
worldwide. Any approach at variance with the Prophet's 
way is doomed to failure, or will receive only partial 
success, narrowed down only some areas and times, and 
eventually will give way to internal disputes and inter¬ 
sectional schismatic squabblings. 

According to the above description 1 have tried my 
best to highlight the distinctive features of the Holy 
Prophet's life, thereby underscoring his person's universal 
character as the Last Messenger to the entire mankind. 

In the past, there have been made many efforts by a 
number of Ulama to mention ti characteristics and 
versatility of his personality. Suyuti' Al-Khasais al- Kubra, 
for instance, is an exclusive work on record. Beside him, 
there have been many authors, particularly his 
biographers, who have thankfully attempted to mention 
and highlight them in a very beautiful manner. My work, 
as has just been put above, is intended specifically to 
highlight those aspects of his Prophethood and person as 
are the constituents of his all-out perfections leading him 

14 



to an eternal leadership of mankind as the Last Messenger 
of Allah. This position earned him the Station of the 
Muqaam-e Mahmood in the Next World, the highest and 
closest station to Allah subhanahu iva ta'ala a man could 
ever aspire for. In today's volatile and restless world the 
significance of his Message's universality and the Holy 
Messenger's universal character have gained even more, 
and so has doubled the responsibility of the men of Islamic 
teaching. Were the world should re-adopt the message and 
teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it may 
regain peace and prosperity once again. 

Maqam-e- Mahmood 

The present body of the seven chapters, according 
to the preceding description, has been given the name as 
Muqam-e-Mahmood. This is in view of that the book, being 
mere an account on the details of his personal life, is 
primarily about the Holy Prophet's perfections pertaining 
to his Message, his high moral precepts, his noble 
teachings and their implementation into the actual human 
practice. It is these perfections whose combined presence 
in the bro of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has led him 
to earn the unequalled position of the Muqaam-e 
Mahmood in the world of the Hereafter. 

In the Holy Scripture too we have a reference to the 
term Maqam-e-Mahmood. (Bani Israel 17: 79). The last clause 
of this verse proclaims that Allah ta'ala will elevate the 
Prophet (PBUH) to the position of Muqaam-e Mahmood , an 
exalted position in both the present world and the Next. 
The Muqaam-e Mahmood has variously been explained by 
the exegete fraternity. Apart from other commentators. 


15 



Hafiz Ibn Kathir, an exegete of renown, has mentioned, in 
his exegetical, work most of narrations and ahadith about 
it and discussed the merits of them one by one. Following 
is a brief summary of this Ibn Kathir's discussion. 

It will be a position of eminence, and one which 
will evoke universal appreciation and praise. 

It is a position of deep respect and unending praise, 
where the Holy Prophet (PBUH) will be the object of 
everyone's envy and praise. 

According to some reports, this is a very special 
and enviably high position which will be bestowed upon 
him on the Day of Judgment in front of the entire creation. 

However, most of the narrations support the view 
that the Muqaani-e Mahmood in fact is the station of the 
Shafa'at-e- Kubra (the Great Intercession). On the Day of 
the, when all the creation will be in distress, even the 
Prophets of Resolve will not dare take themselves close to 
Allah ta'ala, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will fall in 
prostration before Allah under the Great Throne and 
praise Him. This will pacify the anger of Allah subhanahu 
wa ta'ala. There the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will 
enjoy a position unique privilege in that Allah will permit 
him to intercede with Him, and He will accept his 
intercession. Being placed on that exalted position 
everyone even the most prominent Prophets like Ibrahim 
will need him. 

These different opinions and explanations of the 
Muqaam-e Mahmood may easily be reconciled. These in fact 
are the expressions of the same thing. This station may at 
once be of the Great Intercession, a position of envy, a 
position evoking praise and appreciation from the entire 

16 



creation. It may, likewise, be a station under the Great 
Throne; and everyone may need him. 

In sum, this humble anthology of my papers 
touching upon different prominent aspects of the Seerah is 
being presented to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The readers 
are requested to give their company to this sinful author 
during this blessed spiritual journey, and walking along 
me with the same feelings of love, utmost respect and 
reverence which prompted me to undertake the nice task 
of writing the present book, reach the grand Court of the 
Holy Prophet (PBUH). 

Last but not the least, since any human effort could 
not be faultless, present work , too, may not be an 
exception. Should the readers notice any fault of any kind 
of commission and immission , they are earnestly 
requested to communicate it directly to the author. May 
Allah grant you all the best of reward. 

Akhtar Imam Adil Qasmi 

Jamia Rabbani, Manorwa Sharif 
Friday, Zil- Qada 26, 1436 AH, 
corresponding to September 11, 2015 


17 



BIBLIOGRAPHY (preface) 

1. Bukhari in his biography, vol. 17, p. 381 

2. Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad, vol. 6. p. 369 (hadith 
no. 27124) 

3. The Qur'an, al- Isra:17 

4. Ibn Kathir, Tafseer Al - Qur'an Al -Azim vol. 5 p. 
103, Edited by Saami bin Muhammad Salaama , 
edition 1420/1999 

5. Khazin , Aland Din Ali bin Muhammad bi Ibrahim 
bi Umar :Lubabut Taweel fi Ma'ani al- Tanzil, vol. 4 
p. 276 

6. Al -Nasai, Sunan al- Kubra: hadith no. 11296 


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CHAPTER ONE 


ROLE MODEL 
FOR HUMANITY 


y:ij 







Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad 
SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who 
hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and 
remembers Allah much, (al- Ahzaab (33):21) 


19 



Why should we study the Seerah? 

For the guidance of the human beings Allah ta'ala 
sent numerous pure- hearted people to the world who 
devoted their lives for the sake of Allah's good pleasure 
through man- making and orienting the man towards 
Islam, the only religion approved by Allah ta'ala. They 
tried their best to make the Word of Allah prevail and 
spared no effort to raise the religion of Islam and 
disseminate its message far and wide. Muhammad 
Rasoolul Allah (PBUH) stands at the other way of this 
golden chain of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. His 
advent took place in the blackest phase of the human 
history, when disbelief, along with all of its abominations, 
held the reins of power. Deriding the human world as the 
property of the forces of evil, and mocking the Revelatory 
Teachings brought to the world by the Prophets and 
Messengers of Allah, disbelief and a total indifference 
towards Allah the Creator had long been reining supreme 
on this earthly planet. As the Final Messenger of Allah, 
Muhammad (PBUH) faced all alone the combined forces 
of evil and , under Divine guidance, was eventually able to 
stem the tide of disbelief and satanism just in a matter of 
years. He illumined the world, defeated the thick 
darkness, and the Satan was forced to leave the land of the 
Arabia for ever in complete dispaire. 

The Seerah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is our 
highly valuable asset 

Undeniably, we hold dear all the memories 
associated with the Noble Seerah of the Holy Prophet 
(PBUH). They constitute the most precious asset of life. 
Mere imagination of those impressions is able to lit the 

20 



inner recesses of a believer's life beyond extinguishing 
even by the mightier gusts of untrue and falsehood. This 
deep psychological fact apart, we need to examine 
ourselves what kind of spiritual benefit we normally draw 
from our study of Seerah. Is this activity meaningful to us? 
Or is restricted to mere drawing historical pleasure from 
the life accounts of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)? Does it hold 
any good for the present-day Muslim Ummah other than 
being a sweet story of the past bereft of any character to 
revolutionise our lives?. Despite all this apathy and a lack 
of seriousness towards the real message of the study of the 
Seerah, it is indeed gratifying that Muslims have great love 
and deeper attachment with the Seerah and they study it 
with purely religious sentiments, and the ever- developing, 
anti- faith philosophies and currents have not succeeded 
yet to extinguish their hereditary undercurrents of faith in 
Islam and their love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH). 

The unfortunate aspect of our apathy towards 
Seerah, however, being that we, like others claiming no 
faith at all in Islam or their love towards the Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH), are getting used to study the Seerah 
just for the sake of historical pleasure. We do cast a glance 
at the history of our past, but not to learn a lesson of 
revolution from it. We must come to realize the fact 
studying the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as 
a student of history holds little good for the community of 
Muslims. Our splendid and proudable past and the Seerah 
of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) must serve the 
purpose of the mirror for us. This, therefore, has to be the 
only raison detre of all of our interests in the study of 

21 



Seerah and the Islamic history. It is the history of the past 
which may tell us our shortcomings, thereby enabling us 
rid ourselves of them as soon as possible. It may light the 
innermost darker recesses of us. The Qur'an's philosophy 
of history determines the same purpose of studying the 
history. The Qur'an makes frequent references to the past 
but without caring for an historical order or indulging in 
things not related to its primary concern of delivering a 
warning. It always seeks to deliver admonitory lessons 
from the events of the past instead. To quote its own 
words: 

"So, take warning, then, O those with eyes (to 
see)". (Al- Hashr 59:2) 

In sum, unless the believer takes to study the past 
history with the Qur'anic vision, he could draw no benefit 
from the vast history of the past, nor could ever be a called 
a sincere and conscious student of the human history. 

"I, whose voice holds the undertones of the 
fire of the bygone days. 

My entire life stands for nothing except 
searching for the missing ones. 

In order to construct a safer future a conscious 
nation can never afford to neglect its past. It shall 
invariably be required to study its past and critically 
examine its present so that it is able to carve out a better 
future for its coming generations. Without seeking light 
from the past all constructive efforts of the present are 
doomed to failure. So because they, in most cases, will be 
without the 'blood' of the inmost. This precious thing. 


22 



admittedly, comes out only of the warning drawn from a 
conscious, purposeful, sustained study of the history. 

The Prophet's inalienable concern for his Ummah 

Did we ever take notice of the fact which has been 
reported by a number of the Companions that the Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH), more often, seemed to be 
preoccupied with deep concern and sorrow. Did we the 
'lovers' of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) ever think of the fact 
why he remained so engrossed in so deep a concern for his 
Ummah which prompted Allah ta'ala Himself to interfere 
with the matter and asked him why he was so 
disheartened at the spectacle of disbelief a section of the 
people was displaying in the face of his tireless call to 
Allah. 

Thou wouldst only, perchance, fret thyself to 
death, following after them, in grief, if they 
believe not in this Message. (Al-Kahf, 18:6) 

The Prophet's agonizing concern for and his 
restless attention to the welfare and the religious well¬ 
being of his Ummah directly descended from his 
overwhelming love and affection he had in the depth of his 
pure heart. The spectacles of the wretchedness and misery 
of the Ummah had put him at extreme unease. The same 
condition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been depicted 
by the Qur'an in the following words: 

Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger 
(Muhammad SAW) from amongst yourselves 
(i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him 
that you should receive any injury or 


23 



difficulty. He (Muhammad SAW) is anxious 
over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to 
Allah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive 
your sins, in order that you may enter 
Paradise and be saved from the punishment 
of the Hell-fire), for the believers (he SAW is) 
full of pity, kind, and merciful. (al-Taubah, 
9:128) 

His affection and love was not specific to a 
particular people; his kindness was common to one and all. 
He was raised as the Prophet of Peace and Mercy towards 
the entire mankind, present and future till the advent of 
the Day of Judgment. The following Qur'anic verse 
establishes it beyond doubt: 

And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) 
not but as a mercy for the 'Alamin (mankind, 
jinns and all that exists) (Al-Anbiya :107) 

This affection and love was so deep-seated in him 
which remained inalienable to him till he breathed his last. 
At times this deep concern got so high that Allah ta'ala 
Himself interfered and sent the Ruhul- Amin to solace him. 
The following report speaks of the same truth: 

Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas reported that at an 
occasion the Holy Prophet (PBUH) recited two Qur'anic 
verses with reference to the Prophets Ibrahim and Isa 
(Jesus) (Peace be upon them both). They are as follows: 

"O my Lord! They have indeed led astray 
many among mankind. But whoso follows 
me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys 


24 



me, - still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most 
Merciful. (Ibrahim, 14:36) 

"If You punish them, they are Your slaves, 
and if You forgive them, verily You, only You 
are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise[]. "(al- 
Maidah, 5:118) 

Moved by their love and affection towards their 
communities, the Holy Prophet(PBUH) raised his hands in 
prayer and burst into weeping. Allah ta'ala Himself 
commanded the Arch Angel, Jibril, to visit the Holy 
Prophet (PBUH) and ask him why he was so upset and 
what made him weep. Allah Himself is in perfect 
knowledge of all things, still the reason of his weeping was 
asked through the intermediary of the Jibril as a mark of 
respect to him. The great Angel reported his agonizing 
anxiety about the fate of his Ummah. Allah subhanahu wa 
ta'ala set the angel back with the message that Allah ta'ala 
will please you regarding your Ummah, and will not 
displease you. (Suyuti Jalalud Din: Jamiul Ahadith) 

Acts of the Ummah are produced before the Prophet 
(PBUH) 

This concern of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) still 
persists even after his departure from this world. There are 
ahadith which suggest that the acts of the Ummah are 
placed before their respective Prophets. The deeds of 
virtue please them, while the deeds of disobedience 
towards Allah ta'ala displaese them very much. Anas(may 
Allah be pleased with him) reported the Holy Prophet 
(PBUH) to have said: 


25 



"Acts (of the Ummah) are placed before Allah 
ta'ala on Mondays and Thursdays. Before the 
Prophets and the fathers and mothers they 
are placed on Fridays. They feel good and 
happy at the virtuous deeds of their children 
and the whiteness and freshness of their faces 
get increased. So, fear Allah and do not put at 
unease your departed souls." 

There is another report from the Holy Prophet 
(PBUH) which specifically mentions the placing of the acts 
before the Holy Prophet himself. To cite it here: 

Abu Zar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported 
the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to have said:"The acts of my 
Ummah were placed before me, both virtuous and the 
wicked. In the list of the good acts I found even the 
removing of the injurious things from the way. In like 
manner, in the list of the bad acts I found even as minor as 
spitting in the Masjid and leaving it unburied. "(Bukhari 
Muhammad bin Ismail, al- Adabul - Mufrad, vol. 1, p. 90, 
hadith no. 230) 

Overburdened with care and concern for his 
Ummah, the Prophet (PBUH) would often kept himself 
engaged with praying Allah for the religious well-being of 
the Muslims. The thought of his Ummah's success both 
herein and in the Hereafter always kept him at extreme 
unease. According to his thinking, it was his Ummah's 
success in which lay the success of his own self. He always 
held the previous one preferable to the latter. 

For the sake of his own self he never sought 
revenge. Except one very special situation, he never hit 


26 



anyone else by his sword or any weapon. He issued 
unequivocal directions to his soldiers never to hit a 
woman, child, or sick person even in the course of the 
fiercest conflict. Once a person was wrongly put to sword 
by a Companion. It angered the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in 
the extreme. Disowning this act, he raised his hands in 
prayer and said"0 Allah! 1 have nothing to do with this 
wrong-doing. " 

At a point of time as crucial as theTaif event, when 
the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was put to extreme pain, 
anguish and persecution by the local infidels. The 
spectacle of the Prophet's extreme misery moved the 
Heavenly World in the extreme. Allah ta'ala sent the 
Angels of Mountains and asked his permission to crush to 
pieces the wrong-doers of Taif by placing them between 
two mountains. The Prophet of Mercy, however, 
overlooked and forgave their atrocities they had just 
committed against him, saying: 

"O Allah! forgive my people. They know me 
not. "(Bukhari, al-Jami al- Sahih al- Mukhtasar 
vol. 3 p. 1282, hadith no. 3290) 

Our Pathetic Indifference 

In the face of the Holy Prophet's affection and deep 
love towards his Ummah our pathetic indifference towards 
the dissemination of the religion of Islam is very 
disappointing. The Prophet (PBUH) bore numerous 
inexplicable hardships and underwent all types trials and 
tribulations in order to communicate the Word of Allah to 
his fellow human beings. With reference to the wellness of 
the same religion of Islam we are sitting idle today, with 

27 



little concern and anxiety for its dissemination. Devoid of 
the deep concern, we have become indifferent to both his 
Seerah and the message of Seerah. We have practically 
disowned the way of the Companions and our great 
Predecessors. Believing in the high import of the Holy 
Prophet's deeper concern for the welfare and wellness of 
the religion of Allah on the earth, they lived a life on the 
pattern of the Holy Prophet himself. They never looked 
back even in the face of the seemingly undefeatable 
hardships. Neither the lack of the worldly meanse nor the 
abundance of the riches could prevent them from lying 
down their lives for the sake of Islam. With the message of 
Islam and truth they roamed around the world and left no 
corner of the globe unvisited purely for the good of the 
religion of Allah and delivering the message of Islam far 
and wide. The following poetic lines speak of truth of the 
Muslims of those times. 

Not to speak of the landmasses, 

We spared no wsterbodies without stepping up. 

We entered even the Atlanta, driving our horses. 

This deep concern and the revolutionary spirit, 
which are essentially part of our traditional legacy, now 
have suffered a decay under the heavy burden of the 
worldly rites and rituals. Most of our religion now stands 
reduced to mere lifeless repetition, with no true spirit and 
understanding. In the past, the same announcement of 
Allah's divinity and the voice of la ilaha ilia Allah, if called 
out in the saharas and inhabited lands, would infuse life 
even into the barren lands and dry leaves; and if called out 
in a human habitation, it would bring tumult and 
revolution. Bilal's azaan had put the entire city of Madina at 

28 



extreme sentiments bringing the entire population to tears, 
hue and cry. (Tareekh-e-Dimashq, vol. 7 p. 137) 

The things have , nevertheless, now taken a U-turn. 
Today our ears encounter this enlivening call rousing from 
our masjids time and again in the course of a single day, 
yet of no avail. It gives us no spiritual upliftment and fails 
to bring any tumult of meaning to our hearts and brains. 
Our this bizarre indifference to the welfare of Islam has 
been spoken of in the following poetical lines of the Late 
Iqbal: 

Words and meanings are much the same though; 

The Azaan of a Mujahid is profoundly different from the 
one called out by a professional Mulla. 

How did it come about? We stii have the Qur'an 
and the great literature on Seerah and Sunnah amongst 
us;lslamic history too is still existent to show us the way. 
Why, then, the Muslims of latter ages lost the most of their 
spiritual power which our elders and Predecessors had 
achieved with their sustained efforts ?Why our greatness 
withered, and did happen to our inner strength and unity 
which had unified us into an unconquerable force, an 
object of envy on the part of all other nations and 
communities of the world?Why the sun of our glory has 
now sunk which up until the recent past had been at the 
pinnacle of its rise?Why we are not attracting the help 
from Allah, the real source of our power and strength, now 
while our predecessors were able to get a much greater 
share of it ? The fault lies with us and never with Allah's 
generosity. Things may get a better turn even today 
provided that we are prepared to bring changes into 
ourselves in lines with the guidance provided to us by 

29 



Allah ta'ala and His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Again, 
the secret of our greatness never lies merely in building 
great universities and in creating the seats on learning and 
academic excellence and in developing industries and the 
centres of manufacturing. It lies in the heightened religious 
fervour, constructive feelings and the revolutionary spirit 
which is evident from each and every line of the Holy 
Qur'an; which had granted a life of sacrifice to the Prophet 
(PBUH) and his true followers. Alas! today we are lacking 
in the same precious thing, the source of real life indeed. 

Being Muslims, they enjoyed respect and honour; 

And , you stay disgraced by forsaking the Qur'an. 

Real value and purpose of studying the Seerah 

The study of the Seerah for a Muslim has no other 
purpose and value than a reaffirmation of our faith in the 
Holy Prophet (PBUH) and in the religion of Islam brought 
by him to the entire mankind. By going through the pages 
of the Seerah we may rekindle our dormant spirits, thereby 
reasserting our loyalty to him and his religion, Islam. The 
study of the Seerah must not be intended to seek historical 
pleasure. Mere gathering the historical information and 
satisfying one's quest for knowledge may not be a proper 
purpose a Muslim might embark upon studying the Seerah 
of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Such an unsolicitous 
purpose might be clearly seen as the only motivation for 
most of the Orientalistic studies into Islam and Seerah. The 
Orientalists have undertaken sustained studies into 
different aspects of the Islamic scholarship and the Seerah 
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But what kind of 


30 



benefit they could they draw from the Seerah except 
satisfying their thirst for knowledge? 

Agaist all such petty purposes, a true Muslim, by 
his studies into the Seerah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), 
intends nothing except to renew his faith and prepare 
himself to shoulder the responsibility of inviting humanity 
to the religion of Islam so as to deliver his fellow human 
beings from darkness to the light of Truth. By so doing, not 
just we may again attract the mercy of Allah to ourselves, 
regain our lost glory, we may reclaim our splendor of the 
past as well. 

We are with you as long as you are loyal to Muhammad 
(PBUH) 

Not just this world, the Hereafter, even the Pen will turn 

yours. 

Bibliography 

1. Al- Qur'an 

2. Al-Nesapuri, Muslim bi al-Hajjaj Abul Hasan al- 
Qushairi: Sahih Muslim vol. 1 pl32 hadith no. 520 

3. Al- Bukhari, Al -Jami Al -Sahih Al -Mukhtasar, vol. 
3 p.1282 

4. Al- Suyuti, Jalalud Din , Jami al- Ahadith vol. 11 p. 
292 

5. Al-Burhanpuri, Aland Din Ali bin Hasamud Din , 
Kanzul Ummal vol. 16 p. 469 hadith no. 45490 


31 



6. Al-Bukhari al-Adab Al-Mufrad vol. Ip. 90 hadith 
no. 230 

7. Ibn Asakir, Tareekh Dimashq vol. 7 p. 137 

8. Ibn Manzur A1 Afriqi Mukhtasar Tareekh Dimashq 
vol. 2 p. 208 


32 



CHAPTER TWO 


PROPHET MUHAMMAD: 

THE PROPHET FOR ALL MANKIND 
FOR ALL AGES TILL THE END OF 
THE WORLD'S PRESENT 
STRUCTURE 





And We have not sent you except comprehensively to 
mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. 
But most of the people do not know. 


33 



Muhammad, the Prophet for all Times and Climes 

The Prophethood of the Universal Character versus 
Those of the Limited Character in terms of Their 
Jurisdiction and the Areas of Operation 

Muhammad Rasul Allah is the Final Messenger of 
Allah and the end-link of the blessed, long Chain of The 
Prophets stretched over all the ages of the human history. 
He was preceded by numerous Prophets who properly 
communicated the same message of Allah to their 
respective people as did the Prophet Muhammad. The 
character of the Prophethood of Muhammad and the 
message brought by him, however, is very much different 
from those disseminated by Prophets that preceded him. 
To put it differently, the teachings of the Prophets 
preceding the Last Prophet pale in comparison to those 
brought to the humankind from the Creator (SWT) by 
Muhammad(PBUH) in respect of their comprehensiveness, 
areas of their applicability and easiness to follow. A 
comparative study between the two makes it abundantly 
clear that not just the areas of operation of early Prophets 
were limited, sometimes restricted to the families and the 
kinsfolk of the Prophets, but also a much larger part of 
their teachings was marked by local colour and devoid of 
the universal appeal. It is the message of the Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH) which has a universal appeal beyond 
all geographical bounds and the time-limits. Amongst the 
long list of the foregoing Prophets of Allah there are many 
who have great and enviable accomplishments to their 
credit, yet they were hardly survived by such faithful and 
sincere followers who could safeguard their Prophets' 
legacy and transmit it to the future generations as such. 

34 



That is why the major portion of the teachings of the 
Prophets of past is not in tune with the Revelatory 
Teachings brought by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 
This also accounts for the reason why teachings failed to 
keep abreast of the ever- changing legal, social and 
economical developments of the human society so much so 
that even the adherents of those Prophets discarded them 
with complete disregard. The teachings of the Holy 
Prophet (PBUH), in sharp contrast, are comprehensive 
and dynamic, hence capable of meeting the rising 
challenges of ever- changing human society. 

No Prophethood has ever been of the worldwide 
appeal except Muhammad (PBUH). 

As has already been pointed out, notwithstanding 
the fact that many of the Prophets were of great Resolve 
and Determination, as have specifically been mentioned in 
the Holy Qur'an, in the long chain of the Prophets of Allah 
no Prophet was ever granted a message with a universal 
appeal and character. It is the most outstanding feature of 
Muhammad Rasul Allah's Prophethood which contains all 
the characteristics of a perfect one. 

As far as the restricted character of all the earlier 
Prophethood is concerned, it hardly finds any express 
mention in the Qur'an. This notion is rather predicated on 
the statements of those Prophets themselves a student 
comes across them in the scriptures believed to enshrine 
the Revelatory teachings. Even the Prophets of the 
outstanding stature, attributed by the Qur'an to be Ulul 
Azm (Of the Firm Resolve and Inflexible Purpose) have 
specifically been quoted to be sent to a particular people 
and that their beneficence was restricted to a particular 

35 



nation. The Prophet Moses (AS), for example, is one out of 
the fewer Prophets held in high veneration by Muslims 
and other Sematic religious denominations. According to 
his own statements scattered throughout the Old 
Testament, his advent was exclusively to the Children of 
Israel to the exclusion of all other nations of the world. A 
scholar, however, has reasons to believe that 
notwithstanding the fact that Moses' advent was restricted 
both in terms of time and the area of operation, such 
specifying statements are not from the Moses himself. 
They are wrongly ascribed to him. Rather, such statements 
have arisen from the narrow-mindedness of the Jews, who 
are known to be an audacious and exclusivist nation 
among the ones blessed with the Revelatory Teachings. 
The Qur'an, the Last and the only reliable source of 
Revelatory Teachings now, speaks of a two-fold mission 
which Moses was assigned by Allah: delivering the 
Children of Israel from the tormenting slavery of 
Pharaoh's people and purifying them in the light of the 
Law of Allah revealed to him ; and communicating the 
message of Tauheed, Risalah and the Life-after Death to 
Pharaoh and his people. Statements of the same restrictive 
nature have also been attributed to the Prophet Isa (Jesus) 
as one can easily notice them here and there across the 
New Testament. Such statements could hardly be proved 
to be true in their present form. They, too, are the result of 
the narrow thinking and exclusivist, ethnic and racial 
considerations of the Christian denomination. 

Proclaiming the Universality and never-ending 
nature of the message and messengership of the Prophet 


36 



Muhammad (SAWS) in His eternal scripture, the Qur'an, 
Allah ta'ala has said : 




^ ' 'L * "I * < 


And We have not sent you to all mankind as a 
bringer of good tidings and a warner. But 
most of the people do not know. (Saba 34:28). 


37 



UNIVERSAL PROPHETHOOD 
OUTSTANDING 
CHARACTERISTICS 

Man needs the light of his past experience to 
brighten his present and future. And, as I told you earlier, 
all the different segments of humanity which have done 
anything to make this world a better place to live in 
deserve our gratitude; but, the most deserving of our 
regard are those whom we call the prophets of God. Each 
one of them has, in his own time, presented a winsome 
example of his sublime conduct and moral behaviour. If 
one was a model of endurance, others were emblems of 
selflessness, sacrifice, fervour for Truth and Oneness of 
God, submission to the Will of the Lord, chastity and 
piety, in short, each of them was a lighthouse of guidance 
showing the path of exalted behaviour in one or the other 
walk of life everyman has to tread in his sojourn on the 
earth. Man, however, stood in the need of another guide 
who could illuminate the entire gamut of human 
behaviour, in all its manifoldness, by his comprehensive 
example of goodness and virtue. Man, in other words, 
needed a perfect and universal exemplar who could place 
in his hands a guide-book of practical life, so that every 
wayfarer may reach his destination safely. And, this 
exemplary did come to the world in the person of the last 
of the prophets, Muhammad (SAW), on whom be peace 
and blessing of the Lord. 

The Quran announced this gospel truth in these 

words: 


38 



"O Prophet! Lo! We have sent you as a witness and 
a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And as a 
summoner unto Allah by His permission, and, as a lamp 
that gives light. 

He is the prophet well-informed, the witness to 
God's commandments, the bringer of glad tidings, the 
Warner unto those who are heedless, the summoner of the 
erring to the way of God, the resplendent light which 
dispels the darkness and shows the right path. 
Every prophet of God came to this world as a witness, or a 
harbinger of good tidings, or as a warner, or as a 
summoner, but never in the past there came a prophet 
who combined all these qualities in his single being. There 
were witnesses to God's majesty and overlordship like 
Jacob, Isaac and Ishmael. Others like Abraham and Jesus 
were the heralds of glad tidings. There were also warners 
like Noah, Moses, Hiid and Shuyeb, the key-note of 
whose forebodings were terrible punishment awaiting the 
evildoers. Then, there were the prophets like Joseph and 
Jonah whose teachings set the tone for summonses to 
divine guidance. But the messenger par excellence who 
had all these marks of prophet hood- a witness as well as a 
welcome, warner as well as a caller- and who was a 
distinguished Messenger in every respect was none else 
save Muhammad (SAW). He was sent to the world as the 
last prophet, the final one after whom no other messenger 
was to be sent again by God. This is the reason why he 
was granted as shariat or the law that was perfect and final 
requiring no revision in the days to come. 


1Q. XXXIII: 45-46 


39 



Since the teachings of the last Prophet were to be 
ever-abiding, to remain unchanged to the end of time, he 
was sent as an acme of perfection with ever- blooming 
guidance and resplendent light. This is an indisputable 
fact attested by the pages of history. A character held Out 
as an ideal or model for humanity needs must fulfill 
certain conditions before such a claim can be universally 
accepted. The first and foremost test to which the 
character of such a guide should be put is historicity. 

Historicity means that the genuineness of the 
accounts of life and character of any man put forth as a 
perfect exemplar should proceed not from any fable or a 
legendary tale, but from reputed sources and methodical 
records of what we call as history. Man is never disposed, 
by his frame of mind, to be deeply impressed by any 
happening, event or biography which he knows to be 
fictitious. For a lasting impression of any character, one 
needs the assurance that every detail of the life, saying 
and doing of such a personality is perfectly genuine and 
verifiable. Historical stories have, for that very reason, a 
greater appeal than the works of fiction. Another reason 
for the historicity of a character, particularly if it is 
intended to impart a lesson to others, is that no bed-time 
fable, told to while away the hours of leisure, can be 
deemed to hold up a model for emulation or following its 
example. For nobody can be expected to follow a mythical 
or imaginary character, it is absolutely essential that the 
journal of a life presented as an emblem of virtuous human 
conduct should be perfectly authentic in accordance with 
the criterion set for acceptance of any event as historical. 


40 



We hold all the prophets of God in reverence and 
pay homage to them. We also agree that every one of them 
was a truthful messenger of divine guidance but the Lord 
has Himself told us that 

"Of these messengers, some of whom We 
have caused to excel others. ^ 

We believe that this was the honour granted to 
Muhammad (SAW) since he was the last of the line of 
prophets, bearer of the final and ever-abiding message of 
God and, thus, he was sent as a standard of virtue and 
goodness for the guidance of mankind to the end of time. 
No other prophet than he was intended to be the seal of 
the Divine messengers; nor were the teachings of any other 
prophet to last till the Doomsday. They were all sent as 
models, teachers and guides, no doubt; but for a 
particular age and people, and hence, whatever they had 
thought gradually vanished from the memory of 
humanity. 

Now, let us think it over again. How many 
Messengers were sent by god to this world, to all the 
nations and countries? Their numbers must run into 
hundreds of thousands. Be that as it may, Islamic 
traditions put the figure at one hundred and twenty-four 
thousand although the Qur'an tells us the names of a few 
only. But, even of those whose names we know, how 
little of their life and character is known to the world? 
Although there are no means to verify it, the Hindus claim 
that theirs was the oldest civilization of the world. Their 
sacred writings mention innumerable sages, but is there 


2Q. 11:253. 


41 



one to be put forth as a historical personality? There are 
many amongst these saints and sages about whom nothing 
except their names are known to us; there are others who 
can be treated as mythological personalities rather than 
characters belonging to the realm of history. More detailed 
knowledge of the noble personages described in the 

_and Raniyana are undoubtedly available, but can 

their lives be tested on the touchstone of history? Nobody 
knows the age, or the era, or the century, or the year, or 
period when they lived. Certain European orientalists 
have, of late, hazarded their opinion when these sages 
would have been living, but this is the only evidence 
available about their historicity. A majority of these 
experts do not even regard them as historical and deny 
that the mythological personalities described in these 
books were ever born on this earth. 

Zoroaster, the founder of ancient Iranian faith 
named after him, is still revered by a large number of 
people, but his historical personality is also hidden behind 
the mist of obscurity. Several skeptical orientalists of 
Europe and America have doubts if a man with this name 
ever lived in this world. Even the scholars who accept 
Zoroaster's historical existence, have succeeded in giving, 
through guess-work, some paltry details about his life. 
These accounts are so contradictory that no reasonable 
standard of practical human life can be based on them. 
Where was Zoroaster born, what was the year, what was 
his nationality or family, what was the religion he 
preached, whether the scripture attributed to him is 
genuine, what was the language spoken by him, when 
and where he died- each of these questions have elicited a 

42 



hundred contradictory answers since no authentic and 
dependable records about him are available to clear the 
mist of doubt and uncertainty shrouding Zoroaster's 
personality. The Zoroastrians, or the Parsees, as they are 
known nowadays, lack acknowledged traditions about 
their Master and have to depend on the researches of 
European scholars for answering these questions. Their 
national sources do not go beyond Firdausrs Shahnana. It 
is hardly, an excuse that the Greek invaders of Iran had 
destroyed their scriptures; the point is that they exist no 
more. The very fact of their destruction settles the issue 
that the teachings of Zoroaster, whatever they had been, 
were not meant to be ever-abiding. This, by the way, is 
the reason why orientalists like Kern and Darmeteter 
refuse to accept Zoroaster as a historical figure. 

Another religion of ancient Asia was Buddhism 
which was once the dominant faith of the people of India, 
China, the whole of Central Asia, Afghanistan and 
Turkistan and is still a living faith in Burma, Indo-China, 
China, Japan and Tibet. It was exterminated in India by 
Brahmanism and replaced by Islam in the Central Asia, 
but the power it commanded in South-Asia still sustains its 
faith and culture. Nevertheless, has its continued 
existence in several countries succeeded in preserving the 
dependable annals of Buddha's life and work? The age 
when the Buddha lived is calculated with reference to the 
time of Rajas of Magadh, which, in turn, is fixed by the 
chance discovery of diplomatic relations that these rulers 
had established with the Greeks. We have even more scant 
details about the life of Confucius, the founder of China's 
Confucianism, although the number of its adherents is still 

43 



reported to be more than ten millions. 
Semites have had hundreds of prophets; nevertheless, 
history knows hardly anything about most of them except 
their names. Only a few incidents about the lives of Noah, 
Abraham, Salih, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Zachariah and John 
are known to posterity. All the important links 
transmitting the details of their lives and doings are 
missing from the chain of history. How, then, the 
incomplete, disjointed accounts of the lives of these 
patriarchs can serve as beacons of guidance to humanity 
today? Barring the description of their morals and conduct 
given in the Quran, all that is told about them in the 
Jewish Scriptures is held to be spurious by competent 
scholars. Even if we were to ignore these criticisms, only a 
dim and incomplete picture of these men of God emerges 
from the Jewish writings. 

Torah 3 is the chief source of information about 
Moses, but if the experts and authors of Encyclopedia 
Britannica are to be believed, the Scripture extant today 
was written hundreds of years after the death of Moses. 
Some German scholars even claim to have discovered a 
two-fold tradition on which the Torah is based for it carries 
the inconsistencies of its original sources. The learned 
discourse on this issue can be seen in the article included 
under the heading "Bible" in the latest addition of the 
Encyclopedia. ^ If these criticism of the scholars are 
deemed to be correct, as they are generally accepted, what 


3 Torah is the Hebrew word for "the Pentateuch". 
11th Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. 


44 



historical validity can be claimed for the records of other 
events prior to Moses? 

Gospels are the records of the life of Jesus Christ. 
The Christian world, however, accepts only four of them 
and rejects others, like the Gospels of Thomas and 
Barnabas, as apocryphal. However, not one of the writers 
of these four 'authentic' Gospels ever saw Jesus. Nothing 
is known about the sources on which these Gospels are 
based. Doubts have been raised whether the Gospels 
bearing the names of their authors were actually written by 
them. Even the time and language of the original Gospels 
are uncertain. Biblical scholars hold the view that the four 
extant Gospels were compiled from various sources from 
about 60 A. D. onwards. In regard to these dubious 
elements as well as the stories of birth and death of Jesus 
and the doctrine of Trinity, certain critics have expressed 
the view- as discussed recently by a famous Chicago 
Journal in its several issues- that the story of Christ is 
purely fictitious, adopted from Greek and Roman myths 
containing similar stories of birth, death and resurrection 
of some pagan gods. The researches into the origin of the 
Gospels show how puzzling and insufficient is the 
evidence to rediscover the Jesus of history. 

That any human being should be set up as a 
perennial guide for man, it is most essential to have the 
entire life of that model before us. No incident, no part of 
the life of such a shining example should remain in the 
dark. Like an open book it should be known inside out so 
hat humanity may be able to make out how far that life can 
serve as an ideal guide and teacher. 


45 



Viewed from this angle, none of the preachers and 
founders of the religions would stand the test of historicity 
except the Prophet of Islam. The uniqueness of 
Muhammad (SAW) in this regard furnishes yet another 
testimony to the fact that he alone was sent down to this 
world as the seal of prophets. Only three or four of the 
founders of religions, as earlier stated by us, can at best be 
put forth as historical characters, but not all of them can 
claim that everything about their life and character is 
known to the world. Buddhists form today about one- 
fourth of the world's population, but all that we know of 
the life of Buddha consists of a mixture of fables and folk¬ 
lores. If we were to make a search for the missing links of 
his life, we would decidedly be unsuccessful in our quest. 
All that we can glean from the stories known about him is 
that a certain chieftain in the foothills of the Himalayas, 
south of Nepal, had a son who was endowed with a 
thoughtful disposition. After he had grown to manhood 
and become father of a child, he happened to see certain 
persons afflicted with misery. He was so shocked by the 
sufferings and decay manifest in all earthly things around 
him that he left his hearth and home to discover a higher 
and more enduring meaning in life and human destiny. 
He wandered all over the land — Varanasi, Patliputra and 
Rajgir— sometimes he roamed in the cities, at others 
rambled over the mountains and forests, and ultimately 
reached Gaya, where, sitting under a Buddhist tree, he 
made the claim of having attained enlightenment. 
Thereafter, he went about expounding his discovery from 
Varanasi to Bihar and then left this fleetest arid. This is, in 
fine, the sum total of our knowledge about the Buddha. 

46 



Zoroaster was also the founder of a faith. But 
nothing save surmises and injectors about his life is the 
knowledge possessed by the world today. Rather 
an recounting the fictions about him we would better 
direct our attention to the resume of findings by an expert 
given in the Encyclopedia Britannica in an article bearing 
his name. 

"The person of the Zoroaster whom we meet 
with in these hymns (of Gathas) differs to-to 
coelo from the Zoroaster of the younger 
Avesta. He is the exact opposite of the 
miraculous personage of a later legend. 

After giving a description of the Gatha, the writer 
continues: 

"Yet we must not expect too much from the 
Gathas in the way of definite details. They 
give no historical account of the life and 
teaching of their prophet, but rather are, so 
to say, versus memorials, which recapitulate 
the main points of interest, often again in 
brief outlines. " ^ 

Again, as to the birth place of Zoroaster, the writer 
goes on to say: 

"As to his birth place, the testimonies are 
conflicting. 

5 Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition), 1910-11, Vol. XXVIII, 
p. 1042. 

6 Ibid. 

Hbid. 


47 



No consensus of opinion exists about the time of 
Zoroaster, which is hotly disputed by Greek historians as 
well as modem authorities. The writer of the article 
reaches the conclusion that— 

"Agathies remarks (ii-24), with perfect truth, 
that it is no longer possible to determine with 
any certainty when he lived and legislated. 

All we know about Zoroaster is that he was born 
somewhere in Azarbaijan, preached his religion around 
Balkh, converted King Vistaspa to his faith, worked 
certain miracles, married and had a few children, and 
then died somewhere. Can anybody lay a claim that a 
person about whom our information is so limited and 
paltry is a well-known personality, fit to be put forth as a 
guiding star for humanity? 

Moses is the most celebrated among the prophets of 
old. Let us leave aside the question relating to the 
authenticity of Torah, as it exists at present, and assume 
that its five books contain a correctly dependable account 
of its author. But, what do they tell us? The life story of 
this great Prophet told by the Torah can be summed up in 
a few sentences. Moses is brought up by an Egyptian 
princess in the palace of Pharaoh. After he comes of age, 
he helps the oppressed Bani Israel on one or two occasions 
and then he takes flight to Median, where he marries and 
returns to Egypt again after a long period of exile. On his 
way back, mantle of prophet hood falls upon him, he goes 
to the court of Pharaoh, works certain miracles and 
demands the emancipation of the enslaved Hebrews. He 


8 Ibid. 


48 



takes the advantage of a dark night to flee with his people 
from Egypt; Pharaoh leads the hordes of warriors and 
chariots thundering after Bani Israel; the sea gives way to 
Moses and his followers; but the watery walls surge back 
over the pursuing Egyptians. Moses takes his people to 
Arabia, and thence to Syria, fights the unbelieving folk 
living there and ultimately meets his death, on a hill, after 
he has grown quite old. Deuteronomy, the fifth book of 
the Torah, thaw describes the journey's end of Moses in 
the concluding paragraphs. 

"So, Moses the servant of the Lord died there in 
the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 
And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab. over 
against Beth-poor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher 
unto this day. And Moses was a hundred and twenty 
years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his 
natural force abated. ^ And there arose not a prophet since 
in Israel like unto Moses, whom Lord knew face to face. 
"10 

All the five books of Torah, the last of which is 
Deuteronomy, are believed to have been written by Moses 
himself. But, the few sentences cited above suggest, on 
the first glance, that the book of Deuteronomy, or at least 
its concluding portion, could have never been written by 
Moses. Nobody knows the name of Moses' biographer. 

Similarly the words: 'no man knows his sepulcher 
unto this day' and 'there arose not a prophet since in Israel 
like unto Moses' clearly indicate that the Book must have 


9Deut. 34:5-7. 

“Deut. 34:10. 

49 



been written after a fairly long time when people had lost 
traces of such an important monument as the grave of their 
greatest benefactor, or, 1 would be that the whole nation 
had forgotten all about Moses in the glimmering: 
of a new redeemer expected by them. 

"Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when 
he died, " says the e Deuteronomy, but how little do we 
know of the events of his long life? Only few sketchy and 
disjointed events of Moses' life, like his birth, migration to 
Median, marriage and early period of ministry and 
exodus have been related by us biographer. He is then 
seen taking part in a few battles but makes his exit to enter 
the scene again when he has grown quite old. Let us wean 
our thought from the ups and downs of Moses life for 
every man has to undergo a chapter accidents which are 
peculiar in each case, but we do need to know about the€ 
morals and conduct, demeanor and behaviour of a guide 
and leader of mankind These very essential details of the 
life of Moses form the missing links of history, however. 
Old Testament is replete with such trivialities as the 
ancestral lineage of its characters, population of the 
Hebrews at different periods and places and their rites and 
customs. Howsoever important these details may be for 
the study of the Holy Land's geography and chronology, 
genealogy and sociology, but they are hardly of any 
practical utility for compilation of the biography of a 
religious guide like Moses. This deficiency makes the 
characterization of Moses incomplete. 

The Messenger of God nearest in time to the 
Prophet of Islam was Jesus Christ whose followers today 
outnumber the votaries of every other religion. Strange 

50 



though it may seem, but it is a hard fact that the 
particulars of the life of this Prophet available today are the 
most meager in comparison to the founders of all other 
religions. The keen interest taken by the Christendom in 
the study of ancient civilizations, archaeological 
excavations and deciphering of ancient writings has shed a 
flood-light on the distant past of Babylon, Assyria, 
Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, India and Turkistan and 
succeeded in rewriting not a few lost pages of the ancient 
history; yet, if it has failed anywhere to recover the 
missing pieces of the eternal landscape of the past, it is the 
sealed book of its own savior's life story. Earnest Renan 
left no stone unturned to recreate the Vie de Jesus^ but, as 
everybody knows, his effort proved fruitless. The New 
Testament tells us that Jesus Christ died at the age of 
thirty-three but it records the events of the last three years 
of his life only. 12 Even this is either not supported by 
sufficient evidence or has been proved to be dubious by 


12 Published in 1863. 

12 In 1906, Albert Schweitzer, a philosopher and theologian, 
published his monumental work, entitled The Quest of the 
Historical Jesus in which he surveyed the whole enterprise from 
the earliest time to his day. This is how he began his final 
chapter: 'There is nothing more negative than the result of the 
critical study of the life of Jesus. ' 
Another scholar. Rev. Dr. Charles Anderson Scot says in his 
article on Jesus Christ written for the 14th edition of the 
Encyclopedia Britannica: 

The attempt to write a 'Life of Jesus' should frankly be 
abandoned. The material for it certainly does not exist. It has 
been calculated that the total number of days of his life regarding 
which we have any record does not exceed 50. ' (Vol. VIII, pp. 
16.17) 


51 



good evidence to the contrary. The only information we 
have about the historical Jesus is that he was brought to 
Egypt after his birth, worked a few miracles during his 
childhood; but then he quits the scene to reappear at the 
age of thirty, baptizing and preaching the gospel to 
fishermen in the mountains beside the sea of Galilee. He 
gathers a handful of followers, has a few discussions 
about the Law with the priests and elders, is got arrested 
by the Jews and produced before Pontius Pilate, is 
ultimately crucified and his sepulcher is found vacant on 
the third day. Nobody knows where Jesus remained or 
what he did during the twenty-five years of his life's 
duration. And, of the happenings narrated about his last 
three years, what else is there except a few parables, 
miracles and crucifixion? 

A biography to be ideal must also be 
comprehensive. In other words, whatever light and 
guidance people need in different walks of life- for 
fulfillment of their duties, redeeming the pledges, being 
fair and just and virtuous- should be had from the life of 
the ideal personage. Viewed from this angle, one would 
have to concede that only the life of the Prophet of Islam 
conforms to this standard. What is religion, after all? It is 
nothing save a means to unfold the relationship, on the 
one hand, between man and his Master, and, on the 
other, between man and man. Religion is, thus, meant to 
teach us the obligations we owe to God and our rights and 
duties with reference to our fellow beings; and, hence, it 
becomes a bounden duty of the follower of every religion 
to find out what light the life of his prophet or founder of 
religion sheds on these questions. From this standpoint, 

52 



however, one would not find complete guidance 
anywhere save in the life of Muhammad (SAW) the last 
Prophet of God. 

Religions are of two kinds. One, the religions like 
Buddhism and Jainism which are agnostic, denying the 
existence of God. It would, therefore, be futile to look for 
the awareness of God's nature and attributes or the tender 
regard and adoration for god and His Omnipotence and 
Unicity in the life of the precursors of these religions. The 
others are theistic faiths which acknowledge the existence 
of the Supreme Being in one form or the other, but the 
lives of their founders breathe little of their devotion to 
God. The portraits of their lives do not pretend to he 
shadows of divine perfection, nor do they tell us explicitly 
about their quest for God or their beliefs and convictions. 
Go through the Old Testament and you would find quite a 
few references to the Oneness of God, His commandments 
and the rules for offering oblations unto God, but hardly a 
sentence describing the feeling of awe and gratitude to 
God, spiritual exaltation and a living awareness of the 
Supreme Being experienced by Moses. Had the religion of 
Moses been the last and abiding principle of divine 
guidance, its followers must have preserved the aids to 
spiritual elevation; but they failed to do so, perhaps, as 
designed by Providence. 

Gospels are the mirrors of Christ's life. They tell us 
that God is the Father of Jesus, but what obligation the son 
owed to his Father and how he answered this call of duty? 
The son declares the great love of the Father for him, but 
how much did the son love his heavenly Father? How he 
obeyed. His commands, how he paid Him divine 

53 



honours, how he bowed and humbled himself to show his 
reverence and whether he asked the Father to grant him 
anything else save the day's bread? We do not know 
whether Jesus spent his nights in prayers and vigils except 
the one before his betrayal and arrest. What spiritual 
enlightenment and inspiration can we draw from a 
prophet like him? Had the gospelists clearly portrayed the 
picture of communion between Jesus Christ and God 
instead of spinning myths around him, the first Christian 
Emperor would not have had to convene the Nicene 
Council, after 325 years of the birth of Christ, to draw up 
a statement of Christian creed which remains an 
inexplicable riddle to this day. 

Turning to the rights and duties of human beings, 
we again fail to find any clear exposition of this important 
matter in the life of any prophet or founder of religion 
except the life of Muhammad (SAW). Gautama Buddha 
left his home and family, severing all connections from his 
loving wife and innocent son, to discover the meaning of 
human destiny in the solitude of the woods. He said good¬ 
bye to his friends and abandoned the responsibility of 
administration in order to find the peace of Nirva by 
overcoming the desire arising out of his will-to-live. Now, 
one can ask what message does the teaching of the Buddha 
contain for the common man, for the rulers and the ruled, 
for the rich and the poor, for the master and the servant; 
and how does it provide guidance in the discharge of one's 
obligations as a father, as a son, or as a brother, sister or 
friend? Are the teachings of the Buddha comprehensive 
enough to be followed by the ascetics and businessmen 
alike? His teachings were, in point of fact, never acted 

54 



upon by the working classes, else the administration in the 
countries like China, Japan, Siam, Tibet and Burma 
would have long gone to winds; trade, industry and 
business would have come to a standstill; and the 
populous cities would have turned into woodlands. 

Moses was an illustrious leader of men; noted 
commanding the Hebrew hordes in the battlefields. He 
could thus be a model in the case of a call to arms, but has 
he left any precedent to be followed in the discharge of 
one's rights and duties and fulfillment of one's obligations 
to others? How he wanted the wife and the husband, the 
father and the son, brothers and friends to behave towards 
one another; what his custom was in making peace with 
his adversaries; how he spent his wealth for the benefit of 
the sick and the poor, the orphan and the way-farers? 
Moses was married, had children as well as a brother, 
relatives and friends, and we believe, as an Messenger of 
God, his behaviour towards them would have been 
exemplary. But we are at a loss to find any guidance in 
these matters from the books of Scripture attributed to 
him! 

Jesus Christ had his mother and, as the Bible tells 
us, he had brothers and sisters and ever his earthly father, 
although he was born of a virgin mother. Nevertheless, 
the story of his life told in the Gospels keeps mum about 
his behaviour towards his kith and kin. Social relationship 
has been, and shall ever remain, the pivot of civilised 
existence, and hence every religion must seek to regulate 
it. But, what is there in the life of Jesus Christ to offer 
guidance in these matters? He belonged to a subject race 
ruled by an alien power. How could he, then, set any 

55 



example for the rulers and administrators? He did not 
marry, and hence his life has nothing to guide the spouses 
whose relationship of love and affection has been spoken 
of in the very first chapter of the Old Testament. 
Furthermore, since an overwhelming portion of world's 
population leads a married life, Jesus' life would come 
amiss to offer any guidance to them. Verily, Jesus can 
never be the ideal guide of humanity for he ever remained 
indifferent to his relatives, had nothing to do with earning 
and spending, war and peace and friends and foes. These 
very mundane affairs, unfortunately, form the hub of our 
earthly life. Were this world to follow the example of 
Jesus, all progress wilt be suspended and the silence of the 
grave would descend over the world. Christian Europe 
would, then, die a natural death. 

Yet another determinant of an ideal life is its 
practicality- a decisive test for a founder of religion or law¬ 
giver; since, the preacher of a canon and system of belief 
should be able to lead the way by his personal example of 
living up to his precepts. His actions, in other words, 
should demonstrate the feasibility of his teachings. 

Anybody can enunciate any number of fanciful 
notions, attractive concepts and appealing philosophies, 
but not everyone can live up to them. Innocent and fine 
maxims are no proof of one's virtuous character it rather 
consists of following the narrow, straight path of 
unblemished rectitude. Were it not so, it would be 
difficult to distinguish between vice and virtue, good and 
bad and the world would then abound in agreeable 
chatterers. Now, let us judge the founders of religions by 
this acid test. 


56 



"But I say unto you which hear, " said Jesus Christ, 
"Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 
bless them that curse you, and pray for them which 
despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth you on 
the one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh 
away the cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to 
every man that asketh of you; and of him that taketh away 
the goods ask them not again, Jesus also taught that one 
should forgive one's brother's misdemeanour not only 
seven times but "seventy times seven" and that "a rich 
man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven, "is 
Many more glamorous sayings of Jesus and other 
sermonizers can be cited here but none can be treated as a 
wholesome moral precept unless it is also accompanied by 
a practical example of the preacher. These would be 
merely sparkling gifts of the gab rather than examples of 
practical conduct. How can one forgive his enemies unless 
he has first subdued them? What does charity, 
benevolence and philanthropy of a man mean, if he is not 
blessed with anything to spare? Just as the man who has 
not married and has no children and relations cannot be 
held forth as an ideal husband, or a loving father, or a 
gracious kinsman; how can one be taken as a model of 
mercy, kindliness and forgiveness if one had never had an 
Opportunity to pardon anybody? 

Virtues are of two kinds: one is positive and the 
other negative. Living like an anchorite in the far off cave 


13 Luke 6:27-30. 

14 Mt. 18:22. 

15 Mt. 19:23. 


57 



can, at the most, be reckoned as a negative virtue for the 
ascetics merely abstain from doing harm to others. But, 
what about the positive side of their actions? Do they help 
the poor, feed the hungry, raise the fallen or guide the 
erring? Forgiveness, zeal to restore truth and justice and 
fulfillment of one's obligations are some of the cardinal 
virtues requiring positive action. Virtues are, of a fact, 
more often positive than negative. 

It would now be clear that there could be no "ideal 
life" — to be followed by others_. unless its positive and 
practical aspect is also before us. How can we follow the 
example of any guide, if it is not illustrated? We want 
precedents for waging war and making peace, for leading 
our lives in affluence and poverty, for living as married 
couples and celibates, for our corn union with God and 
social relationship with our fellow beings. In victory and 
defeat, in anger and forbearance, in loneliness and 
Companionship, in short, in every situation of life marked 
by vicissitudes of our earthly existence we need an 
exemplar to show us the right path. We require practical 
exemplary to those who have successfully met these 
situations and hit upon a solution rather than those who 
have nothing to offer except sweet words. It is neither the 
poet's fancy nor the flower of speech, but an indisputable 
fact of history that no other life save that of Muhammad 
(SAW), the last Prophet of God, answers the test of 
practicality. 

To recapitulate the essential ingredients of an ideal 
life, discussed afore, let me repeat that historicity, 
comprehensiveness, perfection and practicality are 
necessary for any character to be followed by others. 1 do 

58 



not mean to say that other prophets lacked these qualities, 
but 1 do assert that the record of their lives and doings 
preserved by their followers and handed down to us throw 
no light on these aspects of their character. This was in 
conformity with the will of God, perhaps, as it constitutes, 
in itself, an intrinsic evidence that the prophets of yore 
were sent to their own peoples and for their own times. 
Their biographies were not preserved because posterity 
did not need them. It was only Muhammad (SAW), the 
last of the prophets who was sent by God for all the 
nations, as a shining example, to be followed by the entire 
humanity until the Day of Judgment. His biography, the 
record of his sayings and doings, had thus to be 
perdurable and ever blooming, and this is the greatest 
testimony, a practical attestation of the finality of 
Muhammad's (SAW) prophet hood. 

"Muhammad (SAW) is not the father of any man 
among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal 
of the Prophets; and Allah is Aware of all things. 


“Q. XXXIII:40. 


59 



Allah ta'ala did not call the Prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH) by his name 

As a matter of fact, it is the good qualities of man 
which attract praise fo him. It is the good qualities which 
make a man lovelier with the people. More good qualities 
and nobler morality, the lovelier his personality. The 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was invested by Allah with 
so higher qualities of a perfect human being that were 
never shared by any other person, including the Prophets 
of Allah. This unique and unequalled position won him 
the most loving status in the eyes of the world. To Allah 
his place is so high that in the entire Qir'an he has not been 
addressed by his name even once. Each time he has been 
addressed by one of his good qualities. Other Prophets, 
contrariwise, have been addressed by their names. To cite 
some references here just to illustrate the point: 

And We said: "O Adam! Dwell you and your 
wife in the Paradise. (Al- Baqarah:35) 

Moses was addressed as: 

"And what is that in your right hand, O 
Moses?"(Taha:17) 

David was addressed as: 

O David! We did indeed make thee a 
vicegerent on earth. (Saad:26) 

JoZachariah was addressed as: 

(Allah said) "O Zakariya (Zachariah)! Verily, 

We give you the glad tidings of a son. His 
name will be Yahya. (Maryam:7) 

Yahya was addressed by his name as: 


60 



Yahya! take hold of the Book with 
might" (Maryam:12) 

Isa (Jesus) was addressed by his name as: 

Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take you 
and raise you to Myself. (Ale -Imran:55) 

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) , on the other 
hand, throughout the Qur'an has invariably been 
addressed either as Prophet, Messenger or by other 
appellations, muzammil, muddathir, etc. 

To cite some examples: 

O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which 
has been sent to you from your Lord, (al- 
Maida:67) 

Even the city of Makka, the birthplace of 
Muhammad (PBUH) and his residence, is so dear to Allah 
ta'ala that in His Book, the Qur'an, He has taken oath with 
reference to it: 

I swear by this city (Makkah); 

And you are rendered violable in this city 
(Makkah). (al- Balad:l, 2) 

Once a delegation of Bani Tamim visited Madina to 
meet the Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was in his house. 
Unaware of the manners and how to conduct themselves 
before the Holy Prophet (PBUH), they began to shout 'O 
Muhammad! come out to meet us'. Their calling him out 
by his name in such a rude way was disliked by Allah 
ta'ala and He expressed His like by revealing the following 
verse: 


61 



"Those who shout out to you from without 
the inner apartments - most of them lack 
understanding. 

If only they had patience until you could 
come out to them, it would be best for them: 
but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 
(49:4, 5) 

A special feature of 'Muhammad' as his proper 
name Unlike the names of other Prophets and Messengers 
which indicate to their physical features, Muhammad is 
indicative of the perfections of the holder of this name 
which won him the praise from all over the world. In other 
words, the names of the Prophets preceding Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH) are mere names and do not indicate 
to their respective perfections. The name 'Muhammad', 
contrariwise, is fully indicative of the fact that he is 
praiseworthy, thanks to this innate qualities and 
unequalled position of Messenger ship. 

In sum, each and every aspect of Prophet 
Muhammad's Seer ah speaks of the fact that he commands 
incomparable respect and greatness in the comity of the 
Prophets of Allah and holds the position of 'belovedness' 
with Him. The life accounts of him do reveal the vast range 
of his great fovours unto the entire humanity. How great is 
the favour of Allah unto us that He created us in the 
Ummah of such a great Messenger. Towards Him we 
ought to be as much thankful as we are able to. Countless 
duroods and salanis be upon Muhammad, the Last Prophet 
of Allah unto the entire mankind till the end of the world. 
(Here ends the chapter two.) 


62 



Bibliography 

1. The Holy Qur'an. 

2. Mansurpuri, Qazi Sulaiman, Rahmatullil Alamin (all 

the three volumes). 

3. Tirmizi Abu Isa:Sunan al- Tirmizi, v. 5 

4. Al- Shaibani Ahmad bin Hambal Musnad v. 4 

5. Nisapuri, Muhammad bin Abu Abdullah al- Hakim: 
al Mustadrak alas-Sahihain v. 2p. 656 

6. Tabrani, Abul Qasim, Mujam al-Kabir h. n. 15035. 

7. Firozabadi Muhammad bin Yaqub, Tanweerul 

Miqyas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, v. 1 p. 302 

8. Khazin Aland Din Ali bi Muhammad bin Ibrahim , 
Lubabut Taweel fi Ma'ani al- Tanzil, v. 4 p. 276 

9. Rasule Rahmat, p. 157 

10. Islamic Review & Muslim India. 

11. Nuqoosh, Special Issue Rasul Number v. 4 p. 447 

12. History of the Moorish Empire with reference to 
Noqoosh (magazine) 

13. Qasimul Uloom (monthly, Rabi 11353 AH) 

14. (Monthly) Istiqlal Deoband 1936 


63 



15. (Monthly) Imaan, Lahore August 1936 

16. (Monthly) Madina July 1936 

17. (Monthly) Maulavi (Ramadan 1352) 

18. (Monthly) Peshwa (Rabi 1, 1356) 

19. Mizan al- Tahqiq p. 23 

20. Ibn Kathir, Imadud Din : Tafsir, v. 7 p. 369. 


64 



CHAPTER THREE 

WORLDWIDE MERCY 
THE AGE OF IGNORANCE 



And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], 
except as a mercy to the worlds. 

No prophet ever came to be the mercy for 
the entire creation. 


65 



Prophet Muhammad (SAWs) the only one raised as 
Mercy for all the worlds 

The last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad bin 
Abdullah was preceded by thousands of the messengers of 
Allah with the same message to humanity. However, in 
many respects the last messenger of Allah stands alone, 
and hardly there is any prophet (PBUT) to share his special 
qualities. The distinctive qualities and the highest moal 
standards the last Prophet (SAWS) was born with never no 
human being combined in his single person in the entire 
human history. His being and his advent as the Final 
Messenger of Allah is doubtlessly the greatest good of 
Allah towards the entire humanity. The entire world and 
each and every individual creature, there for, must feel 
immensely indebted to Allah taala and His final 
Messenger. 

Selection of Muhammad bin Abdullah as Mercy for 
Mankind 

The Great Creator did favou him with so many 
higher human qualities and noblest moral traits. The most 
outstanding quality Allah ta'ala bestowed upon His last 
messenger (SAWS), however, is his being as raised to be 
mercy for mankind. This quality has been so beneficial for 
the entire humanity which stands absolutely unique and 
distinctive. Out of the entire humanity, the Lord of all the 
worlds chose Muhammad for this unmatchably great 
position and invested him with the qualities needed for it. 
If there has been rahmatul-lil-alamin in the entire history 
of mankind, it would be safe to claim that there has never 
been a person in the history of mankind with those distinct 

66 



features, perfections, his noble teachings, directives, 
revolutionary accomplishments which bear a relationship 
with his attribute of being Rahmatul-lil-Alamin and which 
brought to the human world highly constructive 
revolution and unprecedented felicity. For this purpose the 
study of his character shall deem more useful with respect 
to the following references: 

• Moral characteristics of Rahmatul-lil-alamin. 

• His teachings and reforms and areas of their reflection 
especially with respect to the animals other than 
human beings. 

• His deep sympathy with the weaker sections of 
mankind. 

• Special mercy towards Muslims. 

• Enemy too received as much share of his all embracing 
mercy and compassion. (Note No. 4 of Al-Quran. Insaf 
Ka Meyar.) 

Religious Conditions 

Great religions of the world had spread the light of 
faith, morals and learning in the ages past, but every one of 
these had been rendered a disgrace to its name by the sixth 
century of the Christian era. Crafty innovators, 
unscrupulous dissemblers and impious priests and 
prechers had, with the passage of time, so completely 
distorted the scriptures and disfigured the teachings and 
commandments of their own religions that it was almost 
impossible to recall the original shape and content of these 
religions. Could the founder or the prophet of any one of 
them have returned to earth, he would unquestionably 


67 



have refused to own his own religion and denounced its 
followers as apostates and idolaters. 

Judasim had, by then, been reduced to an amalgam 
of dead rituals and sacraments without any spark of life 
left in it. Also, being a religions upholding racial snoberry, 
it has never had any message for other nations or the good 
of the humanity at large. 

It had not even remained firmly wedded to its 
belief in the unicity of God (which had once been its 
distinguishing featur and had raised its adherents to a 
level higher than that of the followers of ancient 
polytheistic cults), as commanded by the Prophet 
Abraham to his sons and grandson Jacob. The Jews had, 
under the influence of other powerful neighbours and 
conquerors, adopted numerous idolatrous beliefs and 
practices as acknowledged by modern Jewish authorities : 

"The thunderings of the Prophets against 
idolatry show, however, that the cults of the 
deities were deeply rooted in the heart of the 
Israelitish people, and they do not appear to 
have been thoroughly suppressed until after 
the return from the Babylonian exile... 
Through mysticism and magic many 
polytheistic ideas and customs again found 
their way among the people, and the Talmud 


68 



confirms the fact that idolatrous worship is 
seductive. 

The Babylonian Gemara^s (popular during the sixth 
century and often even preferred to Torah by the orthodox 
Jewry) typically illustrates the crudeness of the sixth 
century Jews' intellectual and religious understanding by 
its jocular and imprudent remarks about God and many an 
absurd and outrageous beliefs and ideas which lack not 
only sensibility but are also inconsistent with the Jewish 

faith in monotheism.^^ 

Christianity had fallen a prey, in its very infancy, to 
the misguided fervour of its overzealous evangelists, 
unwarranted interpretation of its tenets by ignorant church 
fathers and iconolatry of its gentile converts to Chritianity. 
How the doctrine of Trinity came to have the first claim to 
the Christian dogma by the close of the fourth century has 
been thus described in the New Catholic Encyclopaedia. 

"It is difficult, in the second half of the 20th 
century to offer a clear, objective, and 
straightforward account of the Trinity. 
Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as 


Ludwig Blan, Ph. D., Prof, of Jewish Theological Seminary, 
Budapest, Hungary, in the article on 'Worship' in Jewish 
Encyclopeadia, Vol. XII, pp. 568-69. 

18 Talmud is the body of Jewish law and legend comprising the 
Mishnah (precepts of the elders codified c. 200 A.D.) and the 
Gemara is a commentary on the Mishnah (in recension, at 
Jerusalem c. 400 and at Babylon c. 500) 

1® For details see Dr. Rohling's Jews in the Light of Talmud. 
Arabic version Al-Kanz al-Marsud fi Qawaid al-Talmud by 
Dr. Yusuf Hina. 


69 



well as other, presents a somewhat unsteady 
silhouette. Two things have happened. There 
is the reocogintion on the part of exgetes and 
Biblical theologians, including a contantly 
growing number of Roman Catholics, that 
one should not speak of Trinitatianism in the 
New Testament without serious qualification. 
There is also the closely, parallel recognition 
on the part of historians of dogma and 
systematic theologians that when one does 
speak of an unqualified Trinistarianism, one 
has moved from the period of Chritian origins 
to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It 
was only then that what might be called the 
definitive Trinitarian dogma 'one God in 
three persons' became thouroughly 
assimilated into Chritian life and thought, 

Tracing the origin of pagan customs, rites, festivals 
and religious services of the pagans in Christianity, 
another historian of the Christian Church gives a graphic 
account of the persistent endeavour of early Christians to 
ape the idolatrous nations. Rev. James Houston Baxter, 
Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of St. 
Andrews, writes in. The History of Christianity in the Light of 
Modern Knowledge: 


^°TheNew Catholic Encyclopaedia{1967) art.'The Holy Trinity" Vol. 
14.P. 265. 


70 



"If paganism had been destroyed, it was 
less through annihilation than through 
absorption. Almost all that was pagan was 
carried over to survive under a Christian 
name. Deprived of demi-gods and heroes, 
men easily and half consciously invested a 
local martyr with their attributes and labelled 
the local statues with his name, transferring to 
him the cult and mythology associated with 
the pagan deity. Before the century was over, 
the martyr-cult was universal, and begining 
had been made of that imposition of a deified 
human being between God and man which, 
on the one hand, had been the conseuquence 
of Arianism, and was on the other, the origin 
of so much that is a typical of medieval piety 
and practice. Pagan festivals were adopted 
and renamed; by 400, Christmas Day, the 
ancient festival of the sun, was transformed 
into the birthday of Jesus. 

By the time sixth century reared its head, the 
antagonism between Christians of Syria, Iraq and Egypt on 
the question of human and divine natures of Christ had set 
them at one another's throat. The Conflict had virtually 
turned every Christian seminary, church and home into a 
hostile camp, each anathematising the other and thirsting 


21 The history of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, 
Glassgo, 1929, Chap. Church 312-800 A.D., P. 407. 

71 



after its adversary's blood. 'Men debated with fury upon 
shadows or shades of belief and staked their lives on the 
most immaterial issues', 22 as if these differences meant a 
confronation between two antagnistic religions or nations. 
The Christians were, thus, neither inclined nor had time to 
set their own house in order and smother the ever- 
increasing viciousness in the world for the salvation of 
humanity. 

In Iran, from the earliest times, the Magi 
worshipped four elements23 (of which fire was the chief 
object of devotion) in the oratories, or fire-temples, for 
which they had evolved a whole mass of intricate rituals 
and commandments. In actual practice, the popular 
religion included nothing save the worship of fire and 
adoration of Hvare-khshaeta or the Shining Sun. Certain 
rituals performed in a place of worship were all that their 
religion demanded, for after performing these rites they 
were free to live as they desired. There was nothing to 
distinguish a Magi from an unconscientious, perfidious 
fellow.24 

"It was incumbent on the civil servants to 
offer prayers four times a day to the sun 
besides fire and water. Separate hymns were 
prescribed for rising and going to sleep, 
taking bath, putting on the sacred cord, eating 

22 Alfred J. Butler, The Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Last Thirty 
years of the Roman Dominion, Oxford (1902) pp. 44-45 

23 These elements were light, water, earth and wind. 

24A Christensen, L'lranSou Les Sassanides, Paris, 1936, (Urdu 
translation by Prof. Muhammad Iqbal, Iran ba-Ahd-i-Sasaniyan) P. 
155. 


72 



and drinking, sniffing, hair-dressing, cutting 
of the nails, excrement and lighting the candle 
which were to be recited on each occasion 
with the greatest care. It was the duty of the 
priests to compound, purify and tend the 
sacred fire which was never to be 
extinguished, nor water was ever allowed to 
touch fire. No metals was allowed to rust, for 
metals, too, were hallowed by their 
religion. "25 

All prayers were performed facing the sacred fire. 
The last Iranian Emperor, Yazdagird III, once took an oath, 
saying: "I swear by sun, which is the greatest of all gods". 
He had ordered that those who had abjured Chritianity to 
re-enter their original faith should publicly worship the 
sun in order to prove that sincerity, The Principle of 
dualism, the two rival spirits of good and evil, had been 
upheld by the Iranians for such a long time that it had 
become a mark and symbol of their national creed. They 
believed that Ormuzd creates everything good and Ahriman 
creates all that is bad; these two are perpetually at war and 
the one or the other gains the upper hand alternately. The 
Zoroastrian legends described by the historians of religion 
bear remarkable resemblance to the heirarchy of gods and 
goddnesses and the fabulousness of Hindua and Greek 
mythology.28 


^Ihid, pp. 186-7 
^6Ibid. 

^nUd., pp. 183-233 
mid., pp. 204 and 209 


73 



Buddhism, extending from India to Central Asia, 
had been converted into an idolatrous faith. Wherever the 
Buddhists went, they took the idols of the Buddha with 
them and installed them there. ^9 Although the entire 
religious and cultural life of the Buddhists is 
overshadowed by idolatry, the students of religion have 
grave doubts whether the Buddha was a nihilist or he 
believed in the existence of God. They are surprised how 
this religion could at all sustain itself in the absence of any 
faith or conviction in the Primal Being. 

In the sixth century A.D. Hindustan had shot ahead 
of every other religion in the number of gods and 
godesses. During this period 33 million gods were 
worshipped by the Hindus. The tendency to regard 
everything which could do harm; or good as an object of 
personal devotion was at its height and this had given a 
great encouragement to stone sculpture with novel motifs 
of decorative ornamentation.^o 

Describing the religious condition of India during 
the reign of Harsha (606-648), a little before the time when 
Islam made its debut in Arabia, a Hindu historian, C.V. 
Vaidya, writes in his History of Medieval Hindu India. 

"Both, Hinduism and Buddhism were 
equally idolatrous at this time. If any thing. 
Buddhism perhaps beat the former in its 
intense idolatry.That religion started, indeed, 
with the denial of God, but ended by making 


29IshwarTopa, HindutaniTamaddun, Hyderabad (N.D.) p. 209 and 
JawaharLal Nehru, Discovery of India, pp. 201-2 
See R.C. Dutt, Ancient, India Vol III, P. 276 

74 



Buddha' himself the Supreme God. Later 
developments of Buddhism added other gods 
like the Bodhistvas and the idolatry of 
Buddhism especially in the Mahayana school 
was firmly established. It flourhised in and 
out of India so much that the word for an idol 
in the Arabic has come to be Buddha 

itself. "32 

C.V. Vaidya further says : 

"No doubt Idolatry was at this time 
rampant all over the world. From the Atlantic 
to the Pacific the world was immersed in 
idolatry; Christianity, Semitism, Hinduism 
and Buddhism, vying, so to speak, one with 
another in their adoration of Idol.33 

Another historain of Hinduism expresses the same 
opinion about the great passion for multiplicity of deities 
among the Hindus in the sixt century. He writes : 

"The process of dification did not stop here. 
Lesser gods and goddness and goddesses 
were added in ever growing numbers till 
there was a crowd of deities, many of them 
adopted from the more primitve peoples who 
were admitted to Hinduism with the gods 


But, however, stands for idol in Persian and Urdu and not in 
Arabic language. 

32 C.V. Vaidya, History of Mediaeval Hindu India, Vol. I, Poona 
(1924), p. 101. 

33History of Ancient India.Vo. I, p. 101 

75 



whom they worshipped. The total number of 
deities is said to be 33 crores, i.e. 330 millions, 
which, like the phrase, 'Thy name is legion', 
merely implies an innumerable host. In many 
parts of the country the minor gods receive as 
much or even more reverence than the major 
god."^'^ 

The Arabs had been the followers of Abrahamic 
religion in the olden times and had the honour of having 
the first House of God in their land, but the distance of 
time from the great partriarchs and prophets of yore and 
their isolation in the arid deserts of the penisula had given 
rise to an abominable idolatry closely approximating the 
Hindu zeal for idol worship in the sixth centry A.D. In 
associating partners to God they were not behind any 
other polytheistic people. Having faith in the 
companionship of lesser gods with the Supreme Being in 
the direction and governance of the universe, they held the 
belief that their deities possessed the power to do them 
good or harm, to give them life or death. Idolatry in Arabia 
had reached its lowest ebb; every region and every clan or 
rather every house had a separate deity of its own.35 

Three hundred and and sixty idols had been 
installed within the Ka'ba and its courtyard^h the house 
built by Abhraham for the worship of the One and only 
God. The Arabs actually paid divine honours not merely to 


^^L.S.S. O'Malley, popular Hinduism-The Religion of the Masses, 
Cambridhe (135) pp. 6-7. 

^^Kitab-ul-Asnam by Ibnal_kalabi, p. 33 

^^Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Chap. Conquest of Mecca 

76 



sculptured idol but venerated all types of stones and fetish: 
angles, jinn and stars were all their deities. They believed 
that the angels were daughters of God and the jinn His 
partners in divinity,^7 and thus both enjoyed supernatural 
powers whose mollification was essential for their well¬ 
being. 

Social and Moral Conditions 

This was the plight of great religions sent by God, 
from time to time, for the guidance of humanity. In the 
civilised countries, there were powerful governments and 
great centres of arts and culture and learning but their 
religions had been garbled so completely that nothing of 
their original spirit and content was left in them. Nor were 
there any reformers or heavenly-minded guide of 
humanity to be found anywhere. 

Byzantine Empire 

Crushed under vexatious and burdensome taxes 
levied by the Byzantine Empire, the allegiance to any 
alien ruler was considered by the populace as less 
oppressive than the rule of Byzantium. Insurrections and 
revolts had become such a common features that in 532 
A.D. the public discontent voiced most dramatically in 
Constantinole by the Nika (win or conquer) revolt took a 


^'^Kitab-ul-Asnam, p. 44 

The Eastern Roman or Byzantine empire, which was known to 
the Arabs as Rum, hed, with its capita at Constantinople, Greece, 
Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, all the island in the 
Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, all the coastlands in North Africa 
during the period. It came into existence in 395 A.D. and ended 
with the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. 

77 



toll of 30,000 lives. The only pastime of the chiefs and 
nobles was to squeeze wealth, on different pretexts, from 
the harassed peasantry, and squander it on their pleasure 
and amusment. Their craze for merriment and revelry very 
often reached the depths of hideous savagery. 

The authors of the Civilisation, Past and Present have 
painted a lurid picture of the contradictory passions of the 
Byzantine society for religious experince as well as its love 
for sports and recreation marked by moral corruption. 

"Byzantine social life was marked by 
tremendous contrasts. The religious attitude 
was deeply ingrained in the popular mind. 
Asceticism and monasticism were 
widespread throughout the empire, and to an 
extraordinary degree even the most 
commonplace individual seemed to take a 
vital interest in the deepest theological 
discussion, while all the people were much 
affected by a religious mysticism in their 
daily life. But, in contrast, the same people 
were exceptionally fond of all types of 
amusements. The great Hippodrome, seating 
80,000 wide-eyed spectators, was the scene of 
hotly disputed chariot races which split the 
entire populace into rival factions of 'Blue' 

and 'Green'. The Byzantines possessed 

both the love of beauty of and streak of 


^^Historians History of the World, Vol. VII, p. 73 

78 




cruelty and viciousness. Their sports were 
often bloody and sadistic, their tortures were 
horrible, and the lives of their aristocracy 
were a mixture of luxury, intrigue, and 
studied vice."^^ 

Egypt had vast resources of corn and shippling on 
which Constantinople largely depended for its prosperity, 
but the whole machinery of the imperial government in 
that province was directed to the sole purpose of wringing 
profits out of the ruled for the rulers. In religious matters, 
too, the policy of suppressing the Jacobite heresy was 
pursued relentleslly. In short, Egypt was like a milch- 
cow whose masters were interested only in milching her 
without providing any fodder to her. 

Syria, another fair domination of the Byzantine 
Empire, was always treated as a hunting ground for the 
imperiousness and expansionist policy of the imperial 
government. Syrians were treated as slaves, at the mercy of 
their masters, for they could never pretend to have any 
claim to a king or considerate behaviour upon their rulers. 
The taxes levied were so excessive in amount and so unjust 
in incidence that the Syrians had very often to sell their 
children for clearing the government dues. Unwarranted 
persecution, confiscation of property, enslavement and 
impressed labour were some of the common features of the 
Byzantine rule.42 


^ T. Walter Wallbank and Alastair M. Taylor, Civilisation, Past 
and Present (Scott, Foresman& Co. 1954), pp. 261-62. 

*^The Arab Conquest of Egypt, pp. 32, 42 and 46 
Kurd All, Khutat Sham, Vol. I, p.lOl 

79 



The Persian Empire 

Zoroastrianism is the oldest religion of Iran. 
Zarathushtra, the founder of Zorostrianism, lived probably 
about 600-650 B.C. The Persian empire, after it had shaken 
off the Hellenistic influence, was larger in size and greater 
in wealth and splendour than the Eastern Roman or 
Byzantine empire. Ardhashir 1, the architect of Sasanian 
dynasty, laid the foundation of his kingdom by defeating 
Artbanus V in 224 A.D. In its heyday of glory the Sasanid 
Empire extended over Assyria, Khozistan, Media, Ears 
(Persis), Adharbayjan Tabaristan (Mazandaran), Saraksh, 
Marjan, Marv, Balkh (Bacteria), Saghd (Sagdonia), Sijistan 
(Saeastene), Hirat, Khurasan, Khwarizm (Khiva), Iraq and 
Yemen, and for a time, had under its control the areas 
lying near the delta of the river Sind, Cutch, Kathiawar, 
Malwa and few other districts. 

Ctesiphon (Madain), the capital of the Sasanids, 
combined a number of cities on either banks of the Tigris. 
During the fifth century and thereafter the Sasanid empire 
was known for its magnificence and splendour, cultural 
refinement and the life of ease and rounds of pleasure 
enjoyed by its nobility. 

Zoroastrianism was founded, from the earliset 
times, on the concept of universal struggle between the 
ahurds and the daevds, the forces of the good and the evil. 
In the third century Mani appeared on the scene as a 
reformer of Zoroastrianism. Sapor 1 (240-271) at first 
embraced the precepts uttered by the innovator, remained 
faithful to them for ten years and then returned to 
Mazdaism. The Manichaeism was based on a most 
thorough-going dualism of the two conflicting souls in 

80 



man, one good and the other evil. In order, therefore, to get 
rid of the latter, preached Mani, one should practise strict 
asceticism and abstain from women. Mani spent a number 
of years in exile and returned to Iran after the accession of 
Bahram I to the throne, but was arrested, convicted of 
heresy, and beheaded. His converts must have remained 
faithful to his teachings, for we know that Manichaeism 
continued to influence Iranian thought and society for a 
long time even after the death of Mani.^s 

Mazdak, the son of Baudad, was born at Nishapur 
in the fifth century. He also believed in the twin principle 
of light and darkness, but in order to put down the vile 
emanating from darkness, he preached community of 
women and goods, which all men should share equally, as 
they do wate, fire and wind. Mazdakites soon gained 
enough influence, thanks to the support of Empero 
Kavadh, to cause a communistic upheaval in the country. 
The rowdy element got liberty to take forcible possession 
of wives and property of other citizens. In an ancient 
manuscript known as Namah Tinsar the ravages done to the 
Iranian society by the application of communistic version 
of Mazdaeism have been graphically depicted as under : 
"Chastity and manners were cast to the 
dogs. They came to the fore who had neither 
nobility nor character, nor acted uprightly, 
nor had any ancestral property; utterly 
indifferent to their familites and the nation, 
they had no trade or calling; and being 


^Hran ha 'Ahd-i-Sasaniyan, pp. 233-269 

81 



completely heartless they were ever willing to 
get into mischief, to mince the truth, vilify 
and malign others; for this was the only 
profession they knew for achieving wealth 
and fame."44 

Arthur Christensen concludes in Iran 
under the Sasanids: 

"The result wasthat the peasants rose into 
revolt in many places, bandits started reaking 
into the houses of nobles to prey upon their 
property and to abduct their 
womenfolk. Gangsters took over the 
possession of landed estates and gradually 
the agricultural holdings became 
depopulated sincethe new owners knew 
nothing about the cultivation of land."^^ 

Ancient Iran had always had a strange proclivity to 
subscribe to the extremist calls and radical movements, 
since, it has ever been under the influence of irreconcilable 
political and religious concepts. It has often been swinging, 
as if by action and reaction, between epicureanism and 
strict celibacy; and, at others, either yielded passively to 
despotic feudalism and kingship and preposterous 
priesthood, or drifted to the other extreme of unruly and 
licentious communism; but has always missed that 


^^NamahTinsar, TabeMaynwi, P.13 (Quoted from Iran Ba Ahd-i- 
Sasaniyan, P. 477) 

Iran Ba Ahd-i-Sasaniyan, p. 477 

82 



moderate, poised and even temper which is so vital for a 
healthyand wholesome society. 

Towards the end of the Sasaniyan Empire, during 
the sixth century, all civil and military power was 
concentrated in the hands of the Emperors who were 
alienated from the people by an impassable barrier. They 
regarded themselves as the descendants of celestial gods; 
Khosrau Parviz or Chosroes 11 had lavished upon himself 
this grandiose surname: "The Immortal soulamong the 
gods, and Peerless God among human beings; Glorious is 
whose name. Dawning with the sunrise and Light of the 
dark-eyed night. 

The entire wealth of the country and its resources 
belonged to the Emperor. The kings, grandees and nobles 
were obsessed with amassing wealth and treasure, costly 
gems and curios; were interested only in raising their own 
standard of living and luxuriating in mirth and merriment 
to an extent that it is now difficult for us to understand 
their craze for fun and festivity. He can alone visualize 
their dizzy rounds of riotous living who has studied 
thehistory, literature and poetry of the ancient Iran and is 
also well informed about the splendour of Ctesiphon, 
Aiwan-i-Kisra^^ and Bahar-i-Kisra,^® tiara of the emperors. 


46 Ibid, p. 604 

47 White palace of Chosroes. For details sec Inn baAhd-i- 
Sasaniyan 

48 Carpet of Silk, sixty cubits in length and as many in breadth; a 
paradise or garthn was depicted on it, the flowers, fruits, and 
shrubs were imitated by the figurca of golden embroidery and 
the colours of the precious stones; and the ample square was 
enriched by a variegated and verdant border. 

83 



the awe-striking court ceremonials, the number of queens 
and concubines, slaves,cooks and bearers, pet birds and 
beasts owned by the emperors andtheir trainers and 
alld^The life of ease and comfort led by thekings and 
nobles of Persia can be judged from the wayYazdagird 111 
fled from Ctesiphonafter its capture by the Arabs. He had 
with him, during his flight, one thousand cooks, 
onethousand singers and musicians, and one thousand 
trainers of leopards and a thousand attendants of eagles 
besides innumerable parasites and hangers-on but the 
Emperor still felt miserable for not having enough of them 
to enliven his drooping spirits.^o 

The common peopl were, on the other hand, 
extremely poor and in great distress. The uncertainty of the 
tariff on which each man had to pay various taxes gave a 
pretext to the collectors of taxes for exorbitant exactions. 
Impressed labour, burdensome levies and conscription in 
the army as footman, without the inducement of pay or 
any other reward, had compelled a large number of 
peasants to give up their fields and take refuge in the 
service of temples or monasterie.si In their bloody wars 
with the Byzantines, which seemed to be never ending and 
without any interest or profit to the common man, the 
Persian kings had been plying their subjects as a cannon 
fodder.52 


^^ShahinMikarios, Tarikh Iran, (1898), p. 98 
50 Iran haAhdSasaniyan, pp. 681 and 685 
5iShahinMikarios : Tarikh Iran, p. 98 
52 Iran Ba Ahd-i-Sasaniyan, Chap V 

84 



India 


The remarkable achievement of the ancient India in 
the fields of Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine and 
Philosophy had earned her a lasting fame but the 
historians are agreed that the era of her social, moral, and 
religious degradation commenced from the opening 
decades of the sixth century.For shameless and revoking 
acts of sexual wantonness were: consecrated byreligion, 
even the temples had degenerated into, cesspools of 
corruption.54 Woman had lost her honour and respect in 
the society and so had the values attached to her chastity. 
It was not unoften that the husband losing in a game of 
chance deal tout even his wife.^s The honour of the family, 
especially in higher classes claiming a noble descent, 
demanded that the widow should burn herself alive with 
the funeral pyre of her, dead husband. The custom, upheld 
by society as the supreme act of fealty on the part of a 
widow to her late husband,^^ was so deep-rooted that it 
could be completely suppressed only after the 
establishment of the British rule in India. 

India left behind her neighbours, or, rather every 
other country of the world, in evolving an inflexible and 
callously inhuman stratification of its society based on 
social inequality.This system which excluded the original 
inhabitants of the country as exteriors or outcastes, was 
formulated to ensure the superiority of conquering Aryans 
and was invested with an aura of divine origin by the 

53R.C. Dutt, Ancient India, Vol. Ill 
^DayanandSarswati, SatyarthPrakash, P. 344 
See Mahabharat 

* Bernier, F. Travels, Edited By constable, 2 Vols. ed. 1914 

85 



Brahmins. It canalised every aspect ofthe people's daily life 
according to heredity and occupation of different classes 
and was backed by religious and social laws set forth by 
the religious teachers and legislators. Its comprehensive 
code of life was applicable to the entire society, dividing it 
into four distinct classes: 

(1) The Brahmins or priests enjoying the 
monopoly of performing religious rites; 

(2) The Kshatriyas or nobles and warriors 
supposed to govern the country; 

(3) The Vaisyas or merchants, peasants and 
artisans; and 

(4) The Sudras or the non-Aryan serfs meant to 
serve the first three castes. 

The Sudras or the dasas meaning slaves, (forming a 
majority in the population), believed to have been born 
from the feet of Brahma, formed the most degraded class 
which had sunk socially to the lowest level. Nothing was 
more honourable for a Sudra, according to the Manu 
Shastra, than to serve the Brahmins and other higher castes. 

The social laws accorded the Brahrmin class 
distinctive privileges and an honoured place in society."A 
Brahmin who remembers the Rig Veda", says the Manu 
Shastra, "is absolutely sinless, even if he debases all the 
three worlds." Neither any tax could be imposed on a 
Brahmin, nor he could be executed for any crime. The 
Sudras, on the contrary, could never acquire any property, 
nor retain any assets. Not allowed to sit near a Brahmin or 


86 



touch him, the Sudras were not permitted to read the 
sacred scriptures.^^ 

India was drying up and losing her vitality. 
Divided into numerous petty states, struggling for 
supremacy amongst them, the whole country had been 
given to lawlessness, maladministration and tyranny. The 
country had, furthermore, severed itself from the rest of 
the world and retired into her shell. Her fixed beliefs and 
the growing rigidity of her iniquitous social structure, 
norms, rites and customs had made her mind rigid and 
static. Its parochial outlook and prejudicesof blood, race 
and colourcarried within it the seeds ofdestruction. Vidya 
Dhar Mabajan, formerly Professor of History in the Punjab 
University College, writes about the state of affairs in India 
on the eve of Muslim conquest: 

"The people of India were living in isolation 
from therest of the world. They were so 
mutch contented with themselves that they 
did not bother about what was happening 
outside their frontiers. Their ignorance of the 
developments outside their country put them 
in a very weak position. It also created a sense 
of stagnation among them. There was decay 
on all sides. There was not much life in the 
literature of the period. Architecture, painting 
and fine arts were also adversely affected. 
Indian society had become static andcaste 
system had become very rigid. There was no 

For details see the Manu Shastra Chap. 1,2,8 & 11 

87 



re-marriage of widows and rerstrictions with 
regard to food and drink became very rigid. 

The untouchables were forced tolive outside 
the towns. 

Arabia 

The idea of virtue, of morals, was unknown to the 
ancient Bedouin. Extremely fond of wine and gambling, he 
was hardhearted enough to bury alive his own daughter. 
Pillage of caravans and cold-blooded murder for paltry 
gains were the typical method to still the demands of the 
nomad. The Bedouinmaiden, enjoyed no social status, 
could be bartered away like other exchangeable goods or 
cattle or be inherited by the deceased's heir. There were 
certain foods reserved for men which could not be taken 
by women. A man could have as many wives as we liked 
and old dispose of his children if he had notenough means 
to provide for their sustenance.^^ 

The Bedouin was bound by unbreakable bonds of 
fidelity to his family, blood relations and, finally, to the 
tribe. Fights and forays were his sport and murder a 
trifling affair. A minor incident sometimes gave rise to a 
sanguine and long-drawn warfare between two powerful 
tribes. Often these wars were prolonged to as many as 


5®VidyaDhar. Mahajan : Muslim Rule in India, Delhi, 1970, p. 33 
See the Quran, the books of Hadith and the poetical collections 
on Ashar Arab like Hamasah, Saba Muallaqat, etc. 

88 



forty years in which thousandsof tribesmen came to a 
violent end.'’° 

Europe 

At the beginning of the Middle Ages the torch of 
knowledge flickered dimly and artistic achievements of the 
classical past seemed destined to be lost for ever under 
theyoung and vigorous Germanic races which had risen to 
political power in the northern and western parts of 
Europe. The new rulers found neither pleasure nor 
honour in the philosophy, literature and arts of the nations 
outside their frontiers and appeared to he as filthy as their 
minds were filled with superstidoon. Their monks and 
clergymen, passing their lives in a long routine of useless 
and atrocious self-torture, and quailing) before the ghastly 
phantoms of their delirious brains*’2were abhorrent to the 
company of human beings. They still debated the point 
whether a woman had the, soul of a human being or of a 
beast, or was she blessed with a finite or infinite spirit. She 
could neitheracquire nor inherit any property nor 'had the 
right to sell or transfer the same. 

Robert Briffault writes in the Making of Humanity 
"From the fifth to the tenth century Europe lay sun kin a 
night of, barbarism whidh grew darker and darker. It was 
a barbarism far more lawful and horrible than that, of the 


“ Details can be seen in the poetical collections of pre-islamic era 
and the books on Akbhbar-i-Arab 

® Frank Thilly, History of Philosophy, New York, 1945, pp 155- 
58 

®Leckey, W.E.H, History of European Morals, London, 1930, 
Part II, P.46 


89 



primitive savage for it was the decomposing body of what 
had once, been a great civilisation. The features and 
impress of that civilisation were all but completely effaced. 
Where its development had been fullest, e.g. in Italy and 
Gaul, all was ruin, squalor and dissolution.® 

The Era of Darkness and Depression 

The sixth century in which the Prophet of Islam 
was born was, to be brief, the darkest era of the human 
history : it was the most depressing period in which the 
crestfallen humanity had abandoned all hopes of its 
revival and renaissance. This is the conclusion drawn by 
noted historian, H.G. Wells, who recapitulates the 
condition of the world at the time when Sasanid and 
Byzantine Empires had worn themselves out to a death¬ 
like weariness : 

"Science and Political Philosophy seemed 
dead now in both these warring and decaying 
Empires. The last philosophers of Athens, 
until their suppression, preserved the texts of 
the great literature of the past with an infinite 
reverence and want of understanding. But 
there remained no class of men in the world, 
no free gentlemen with bold and independent 
habits of thought, to carry on the tradition of 
frank statement and enquiry embodied in 
these writings. The social and political chaos 
accounts largely for the disappearance of this 


® Robert Briffault, The Making of Humanity, p. 164. 

90 



class, but there was also another reason why 
the human intelligence was sterile and 
feverish during this age. In both Persia and 
Byzantium it was an age of intolerance. Both 
Empires were religious empires in a new 
way, in a way that greatly hampered the free 
activities of the human mind."^^ 

The same writer, after describing the events leading 
to the onslaught of the Sasanids on Byzantium and 
eventual victory of the latter, throws light on the depth of 
social and moral degradation to which both these great 
nations had fallen, in the following words : 

"A prophetic amateur of history surveying the 
world in the opening of the seventh century might have 
concluded very reasonably that it was only a question of a 
few centuries before the whole of Europe and Asia fell 
under Mongolian domination. There were no signs of 
order or union in Western Europe, and the Byzantine and 
Persian Empires were manifestly bent upon a mutual 
destruction. India also was divided and wasted."® 

Worldwide Chaos 

To be brief, the entire human race seemed to have 
betaken itself to the steep and shortest route to self- 
destruction. Man had forgotten his Master, and had thus 
become oblivious of his own self, his future and his 


^ H.G. Wells, A Short History of the World, London, 1924, p. 
140. 

® H.G. Wells, A Short History of the World, London, 1924, p. 
144. 


91 



destiny. He had lost the sense to draw a distinction 
between vice and virtue, good and bad; it seemed as if 
something had slipped through his mind and heart, but he 
did not know what it was. He had neither any interest nor 
time to apply his mind to the questions like faith and 
hereafter. He had his hands too full to spare even a 
moment for what constituted the nourishment of his inner 
self and spirit, ultimate redemption or deliverance from 
sin, service to humanity and restoration of his own moral 
health. This was the time when not a single man could be 
found in a whole country who seemed to be anxious about 
his faith, who worshipped the One and only Lord of the 
world without associating partners to Him or who 
appeared to be sincerely worried about the darkening 
future of humanity. This was the situation then obtaining 
in the world, so graphically depicted by God in the Qur'an: 

"Corruption doth appear on land and sea because 
of (the evil) which men's hands have done, that He may 
make them taste a part of that which they have done, in 
order that they may return.'''’^ 


“ Q.30:41. 


92 



MERCY OF THE WORLD 


"We sent thee not save as a mercy for the worlds. 

In the preceding pages a shorter description has been 
given of the world existing at the time of the advent of the 
Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). In such incomparably 
critical phase of the human history when the world was 
passing through a state of hysterics at the close of the sixth 
century of the Christian era. The entire human race had, it 
seems, taken a pledge to commit suicide. God has 
portrayed, in the Qur'an, the condition then obtaining in 
the world so graphically that no artist can draw such a true 
to life picture of the then situation. 

"And remember Allah's favour unto you; how 
you were enemies and He made friendship 
between your hearts so that ye became as 
brothers by His grace; and (how) you were 
upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and He did 
save you from it."^® 

If our historians and literatures have not been able 
to preserve the heart-rending account of the pagan past, 
they need not be blamed for it because limitations of 
human language and forms of expression would not have 


67 Q. 21 :107. 

6® Q.3 :103. This chapter, summing up the great benefits flowing 
from the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), 
which have changed the destiny of human race, has been taken 
from the concluding part of a speech delivered by the author on 
the occasion of Birth Anniversary of the holy Prophet. 

93 



allowed them to capture in words the dreadful situation of 
the then world. The shape of things was so horrible, so 
critical, that not the best word painter could have 
succeeded in its faithful depiction. How could have any 
historian drawn a picture of that horrible situation? Did 
the Age of Ignorance merely means moral corruption of 
the Arabs or a few other nations? Did it merely pose the 
problem of idolatry, depravity and decadence or else self 
indulgence, inequity and exploitation of the poor, or, 
criminal behaviour of the then stronger nations? Was it 
simply the question of the burial of innocent new-born 
daughters by their heartless fathers? It was all this and 
much more. It was as though the 'mother' earth wanted to 
swallow up its entire progeny. There are hardly words to 
describe the terrifying conditions through which the whole 
world was passing in those days. Only those can 
understand it who had themselves lived in that horrible 
age. 

It was thus not a problem confronting any single 
nation or country but the destiny of the whole human race 
was at stake, if any artist capable of converting a vision 
into eternity were to paint the portrait of a good-looking 
young man in a fine fettle, a soul shining through its 
crystal covering, and could somehow show him to be the 
vicegerent of God on earth who was bent on taking a leap 
in a lake of fire and brimstone, then he would perhaps 
succeed in portraying the situation thus depicted in the 
Qur'an : (How) you were upon the brink of an abyss of fire. 
He did save you from it." The holy Prophet has also 
illustrated this critical situation through a simile. He says, 
"The mission and guidance 1 have been vouchsafed to 

94 



deliver to this world is like this : 'A man made a bonfire, 
and when it illuminated the surrounding, insects began to 
jump into it. You also want to take a leap into the fire in a 
like manner, but 1 am holding you by your waists to save 
you from falling into the eternal fire."^® 

The whole problem was how to lead the caravan of 
humanity to its safe destination. All the social and 
developmental endeavours, educational and literary 
efforts were possible only after man had been brought 
back to a normal, sensible frame of mind. There is the least 
doubt that the greatest good the prophets have done to the 
humanity consists of saving it from the unknown, 
imminent dangers threatening to destroy it from time to 
time. No literature or philosophy, reformatory or 
constructive effort, not even the survival of man on this 
planet could have been possible without the merciful 
endeavours of the prophets of God. But, so ungrateful is 
man that he has announced with the flourish of trumpets, 
time and again, that the prophets of God had had their 
time, and that the world no longer needed them. Its seers 
and guides have repeatedly declared that the prohphets 
had nothing new to offer, no benefits to confer on 
humanity. Man has, in this way, really deposed over and 
over again against his own right to exist in this world! 

When any civilisation becomes over-sophisticated it 
closes its eyes to the ethical precepts. Man forgets 
everything save the satisfaction of his desires and replaces 
his loving, merciful heart by a selfish and ferocious 
disposition. His covetous greed takes the shape of an 


® Mishkat, Bukhari. 


95 



aching void which can never be filled in. This is the time 
when man becomes mad after the world and all that it 
stands for and, then, the Providence moves to chasten him 
and to give him his deserts. Poet of the East has given 
expression to the same truth in one of his verses : 

Fever of lunacy then overtakes the kings. 

Ferule of God are all, Timur and Chinghiz. 

One can replace the words 'king' and 'kingship' by 
civilization for the insanity of civilization is nowadays 
much more dangerous and wider in scope than the 
madness of the kings of old. A single lunatic can make a 
hell of the life of all the people around him, and, one can 
very well imagine what would happen if the whole people 
were to lose their heads. 

During the era we speak of as the Age of Ignorance 
the entire human race had become so depraved, so cruel- 
hearted that it took pleasure in the suffering of man. This is 
not poetic imagery but is supported by hard facts of 
history; man had turned into a demon who was most 
enthusiastic to witness the death and suffering of his own 
species. He prized the spectacle of the pangs of death 
suffered by human beings more than the pleasure he 
derived from merry-making, eating and drinking. 

Gladiatorial sports involving combats between men 
and wild beasts under the Romans displayed more vividly 
than any other crime against humanity, the bottomless 
chasm to which human nature could sink. But this was not 
a depravity that had captured the imagination of a few 
guilty conscience. Writing about the immense popularity 
of these performances, Fecky says in his History of European 
Morals that "the magnificent circus, the gorgeous dresses of 

96 



the assembled Court, the contagion of a passionate 
enthusiasm thrilling almost visibly through the mighty 
throng, the breathless silence of expectators, the wild 
cheers bursting simultaneously from eighty thousand 
tongues, and echoing to the farthest outskirts of the city, 
the rapid alteration of the fray, the deeds of splendid 
courage that were manifested were all fitted to entrance 
the imagination." The interest and enthusiasm that 
attended these games of inconceivable atrocity was so 
intense that special laws were found necessary, and, 
sometimes proved even insufficient, to check them. 

Thus, the beast in man had taken hold of him 
during the Age of Ignorance. He had, by his deeds, 
furnished the proof that he had forfeited the right to live in 
this world, or, rather he had himself lost the very desire to 
remain in this world any more. Yet, his Lord and Master, 
the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful, had 
decided otherwise. He decided to save the world and the 
progeny of Adam from death and destruction through the 
Messenger, who was addressed by Allah in the following 
eternal phraseology: 

"And (O Muhammad) We sent you not save 

as mercy for the worlds."^^ 

It is plain as day that the entire duration of the 
world's existence since the debut of the holy Prophet of 
Islam stems from his merciful deeds. First of all, he 
removed the sword of Damocles hanging over the head of 
humanity by giving it a new ideal to live for and a new 


^0 W:E H. Lecky; History of European Morals, Vol. I, p. 119. 
71 Q. 21:107. 


97 



zest and confidence to work for it. A new age of culture 
and civilization, arts and learning, material and spiritual 
progress - a new brave world - came into existence through 
his efforts. 

The foremost service of the Prophet Muhammad 
(SAWS) towards mankind 

The first and the foremost service that he rendered 
to the humanity consisted of the faith in the Oneness of 
God head. No other creed more revolutionary, more life- 
giving and more profitable could have been vouchsafed to 
the humanity. Man had been proud and presumptuous, 
boastful of his creations like philosophy and poetry and 
the art of government; he took pride in enslaving other 
countries and nations; often arrogated himself even to the 
position of God; but he also demeaned himself by bowing 
his head before inanimate, lifeless objects, things of his 
own creation, and mountains, rivers, trees and animals; 
and harboured credulous beliefs and irrational fear of the 
demons and devils. He spent his life in the fear of the 
unknown and the hope from non-existent powers which 
could not but foster mental confusion, cowardice, 
doubtfulness and indecision in him. The Prophet of Islam 
made him self-reliant, courageous, rational and 
undoubting by removing the fear of everything else save 
that of his real Master and the Lord. It was because of him 
that man came to recognise his Creator as the Supreme 
Power, the Enricher and the Destroyer. This new discovery 
meant a world of change for him as it enabled him to free 
himself from the shakless of superstitious beliefs, irrational 
fears, dubiousness and misgivings. He could now see the 


98 



unity of cause in the manifoldness of phenomena, was 
reassured of his pivotal position in the scheme of creation, 
became aware of his worth and dignity, in short, his 
acceptance of the command of the One and only God made 
him the master of every other created being and object. It 
was, thus, for the first time that man became aware of the 
exalted position allotted to him by God. 

Unity of Godhead came to be recognised, thanks to 
the last Prophet, as the guiding principle for all the schools 
of thought, philosophies and creeds. Even polytheistic 
religions were so powerfully influenced by it that their 
votaries began to fight shy of their creeds and started 
putting up constructions to explain away their rites and 
observances demanding devotion to gods and demigods. 
The heathen belief in the worship of numerous deities 
began to suffer from a sense of inferiority from which it 
has still not recovered. This was the greatest gift bestowed 
on humanity by the holy Prophet. 

The Concept and Practice of Equality and the 
universal brotherhood of mankind 

The second great favour conferred by the 
Messenger of God on human beings is the concept of 
equality and universal brotherhood of mankind. The world 
before him was divided by manifold divisions of castes 
and creeds, tribes and nations, some claiming ranks of 
nobility for themselves and condemning others to the 
position of serfs and chattels. It was for the first time that 
the world heard the revolutionary message of human 
equality from the Prophet of Islam. 


99 



"O Mankind, Your God is one and you have 
but one father. You are all progeny of Adam, 
and Adam was made of clay. Lo! the noblest 
among you, in the sight of God, is the one 
who is best in conduct. No Arab has any 
preference over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab 
over an Arab save by his piety. 

The Prophet made this declaration on the occasion 
of his last haj before a congregation of one lakh and 
twenty-four thousand persons. His announcement put the 
seal on the twin principles of the oneness of God and the 
Unity of mankind. These are the two natural foundations 
for raising any edifice of peace and progress, friendship 
and cooperation between different peoples and nations. 
They create a twin relationship between human beings - 
that of One Lord and one father for all of them. Oneness of 
God is the spiritual principle of human equality just as a 
common lineage of the high and the low, the white and the 
coloured races places them on the same place of humanity. 

The world was not in a frame of mind to pay heed 
to the message of equality of human beings when it was 
first armounced by the Prophet of Islam. It was then a 
radical call, making a dean sweep of the then social 
relationships and economic and political orders. So 
striking and revolutionary was this call that it had sent the 
world into jitters. Today we find the principle of human 
equality enshrined in the constitutions of different 
countries and being proclaimed from the forum of the 


Kanz-ul-Ammal. 


100 



United Nations Organisation in the shape of the Charter of 
Human Rights, but it was all due to the pioneering efforts 
of the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him), 
Muslim missionaries and reformers, who made 
indefatigable efforts to establish a truly egalitarian Muslim 
society. It was this model established through their toil and 
tears that later on came to be accepted as the standard for 
human existence in this world. There was a time when 
numerous clans and families claimed their descent from 
the sun or the moon. Qur'an quotes the belief then held by 
the Jews and the Christians in these words : "The Jews and 
the Christians say : We are the children of God and those 
whom He loves." The Paraohs of Egypt claimed 
themselves to be the incarnation of the Sun-god while 
India had several ruling families which arrogated 
themselves as the progeny of the sun or the moon. The 
Emperors of Iran called themselves Kasra or Chosroes 
which meant that Divine blood flowed in their veins, the 
Last Iranian Emperor was known as Yazdagird owing, 
chiefly, to the Divine respects paid to him by his subjects. 

The Chinese rulers deemed themselves to be the 
sons of Heaven. They believed that the Heaven was their 
God, who, with his spouse, the goddess earth had given 
birth to the human beings and Pau Ku, the Chinese 
Emperor, was the first-born son of Heaven enjoying 
supernatural powers. The Arabs were so proud of their 
language that every other nation besides their own was an 
'ajmi or dumb to them. Likewise, the Quraysh of Mecca 
being extremely conscious of maintaining their superiority. 


73 Q. 5 :18. 


101 



claimed a position of privilege even in the performance of 
haj. This was the shape of things all over the world, when 
the Qur'an proclaimed that all human beings were equal. 
"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male 
and female, and have made you nations and 
tribes that you may know one another. Lo! 
the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the 
best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, 
Aware."^'^ 

In another Surah, which is the opening chapter of 
the Qur'an, it was declared that: 

"Praise is to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.''^^ 

The highest standard of Justice Islam enjoined upon 
Muslims 

The Islamic concept of human dignity and 
excellence over all forms of creation 

The fourth great gift and a boon to the humanity 
bestowed by the Prophet of Islam is the Islamic concept of 
human dignity. During the Age of Darkness when Islam 
made its appearance none was so ignoble and humiliated 
as man. Without any worth, he had absolutely no sense of 
human dignity. Often trees and animals regarded as 
sacred, owing to corrupt religious beliefs or traditions, 
enjoyed a more coveted place than man himself. Human 
sacrifices at the altar of deities were a common spectacle. It 
was solely due to Muhammad, the Prophet (peace be upon 


74 1 

75 Q. 1:1. 

102 



him), that man came to appreciate the fact that human 
beings, the glorious creation of God, were entitled to a 
much more loving regard, respect and honour than any 
other creature. The rank accorded to man by the holy 
Prophet was next only to God, for God had Himself 
heralded the purpose of man's creation in these words of 
lasting beauty 

"He it is Who created for you all that is in the 

earth. "76 

Man was declared as the best of creations, the ruler 
of the world and all that exists in it. 

"Verily We have honoured the children of 
Adam. We carry them on the land and the 
sea, and have made provision of good things 
for them, and have preferred them above 
many of those whom We created with a 
marked preferment. "77 

Man had been accustomed to associate nobility 
with those who claimed themselves to be the progeny of 
gods and demi-gods. In order that the honour of the 
common man was not usurped again by the selected few, 
the Prophet announced: 

"The whole of mankind is the family of God 
and amongst His family the dearest to Him is 
he, who does good to others."7^ 


76 Q.2: 29. 

77 Q.17:70. 

78 Mishkat. 


103 



A celestial Tradition of the Prophet alludes to the 
deep care of God for the welfare of human beings. It says : 
"God would ask (someone) on the Day of Judgement, '1 
was ill but you did not pay a visit to Me!' The man would 
reply : 'How could have 1 paid a visit to Thee? Thou art the 
Lord of the worlds!' But God would say, 'Do you not 
recollect that one of my slaves was ill? Had you gone to see 
him, you would have found Me by his side!' Then God 
would again ask, 'O Son of Adam, 1 asked you to feed me, 
but you refused it to Me.' The man would submit, 'How 
could have 1 fed Thee, Thou art the Lord of the Worlds?' 
But the reply of God would be, 'Do you not remember that 
one of My slaves had asked you for food? Didn't you know 
that if you had given him food,you would have found it 
with Me!' God would again ask, 'O Son of Adam, 1 asked 
you water to drink but you refused it to Me!' The man 
would say in reply, 'O Lord, How could have 1 given water 
to Thee! Thou art the Lord of the worlds!' But the reply 
given by God would be, 'Do you not recollect that one of 
my slaves asked you for water, but you refused! Did you 
not know that if you had given him water, you would have 
found it with Me?"^® 

Islam preaches unalloyed and absolute concept of 
the oneness of God and rejects every form of 
anthropomorphism. Still, it employes this similitude to 
drive home the rank and dignity of man in the eyes of 
God. Has any other religion or philosophical thought 
accorded a nobler place to human beings than that 
assigned by Islam? 


Sahih Muslim. 


104 



The Prophet of Islam taught that the surest way to 
attract blessings of God was to be kind and considerate to 
others. 

"The Most Compassionate (God) is kind on 
those who are kind to others. If you would 
show kindness to those who live on the earth. 

He who lives in the Heaven, shall shower His 
blessings on you."®° 

You can very well imagine the pitiable condition of 
man in the days when this powerful voice of human 
dignity had not been raised in the world. A mere whim of 
a king or an emperor could then cost the lives of a 
thousand men. It was then not unusual for an ambitious 
adventurer to put to sword the entire population of a 
conquered land. Alexander converted all the countries 
from Greece to India into a vast battlefield. Caesers played 
with the lives of human beings as if they were wild beasts. 
The two World Wars fought only recently had cost the 
lives of millions merely for securing markets for the 
industrial produce of advanced nations or to establish 
national or political ascendancy of certain nations over all 
others. Iqbal has correctly assessed the political ambitions 
of man in this verse. 

Man is still possessed by the imperialistic lust. 

What a pity! Man prowling after man as yet. 

At the time when Muhammad (peace be upon him) 
was invested with the mantle of prophethood, a general 
sense of pesimism springing from the then prevalent 
notions of worthlessness of human nature and 


Abu Dawud. 


105 



hopelessness of Divine succour filled the air. The ancient 
religions of the East and the mutilated Chrisianity, 
specially in the West, had an equal share in producing that 
mental climate. The philosophy of rebirth, preached by the 
religions of ancient India, which assigned no place to the 
will and decision of man, meant that the present life was 
but a form of retribution for one's actions during his 
previous life with which the Christian dogma of Original 
Sin and atonement had joined hands to shake the 
confidence of millions, all over the world, in the 
respondence and amenability of human actions. Mankind 
had lost faith in the mercy of God whose eternal and 
immutable decree seemed to have condemned man to a 
pre-determined destiny without reference to his evil or 
virtuous behaviour. But Muhammad (peace be upon him) 
affirmed that man was born with a clean slate and perfect 
freedom of action. Man was, declared the Prophet, the 
author of his actions, both good and evil, and deserved 
reward or punishment in accordance with his own 
decision to shape the course of his actions. Discarding the 
theory of vicarious atonement, the Qur'an established once 
for all that every man was his own redeemer. 

"And that for man shall be naught. 

Save that wherefor he maketh effort. 

And that his endeavour shall be presently 
observed."8i 

This was a message of salvation to man which gave 
him a new confidence in himself and in his ability to chart 
out his destiny. He applied himself with a renewed vigour. 


81 Q.53:39-40. 


106 



confidence and determination to shape up his own life and 
brighten the future of humanity. 

The Prophet of Islam also declared that sins were 
but temporary deviations from the right path inherent in 
the nature of man, and were brought about by ignorance, 
mistake and the promptings of the devil or man's own 
sensual desires. But the innate urge of man was to regret 
his mistakes and seek pardon of God with a contrite heart. 
To be broken in spirit by a sense of the guilt and to seek the 
forgivenss of God showed the goodness of human nature 
and attracted mercy of the Lord. This gospel of hope and 
good tidings was a revolutionay message to the 
despondent humanity condemned for ever by the guilt of 
Original Sin and one's past misdoings. What a great 
change it meant in the prevailing atmosphere of gloom and 
depression of spirits is illustrated by the fact that the 
Prophet came to be known as 'Apostle of Repentance'. 
Repentance, he said, did not involve faint-heartedness, nor 
did it arise from fear of disapprobation, but was a bold and 
daring step of the first man, Adam, who had thus shown 
the nobility of his innate nature. The Prophet of Islam 
endued repentance with the sacredness attached to the acts 
of devotion to God. He preached the virtues of seeking 
pardon so forcefully that even the irredeemable sinners, 
who had lost all hope of forgiveness, resolved to turn away 
from the sinful ways and to begin a new life of virtue and 
uprightness and many of them attained a sublimity of 
spirit that was envied by others. 

Describing the clemency of God Who is ever 
willing to forgive the sinners, the Qur'an employes a 
diction so alluringly charming that one wonders whether 

107 



God loves them more who seeks His forgiveness after 
deviating from the path of virtue. The Qur'anic verse 
quoted here shows how forbearing, how long-suffering 
and how magnanimous God is to the man who cares to 
turn towards Him for exoneration of his sins. Says the 
Qur'an. 

"Say thou : O my bondmen who have 
committed extravagance against themselves, 
despair not of the mercy of Allah; verily Allah 
will forgive their sins altogether. Verily He! 

He is the forgiving, the Merciful. 

Some other verses of the Qur'an exhorting the 
believers to acquire positive merits and to win their way to 
the everlasting bliss, address them in these words: 

"And vie one with another for forgiveness from 
your Lord, and toward the Garden as wide as are the 
heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off 
(evil): 

"And those who spend (of that which Allah hath 
given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control 
their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah 
loveth the good; 

"And those who, when they do an evil thing or 
wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore 
forgiveness for their sins - Who forgiveth sins save Allah 
only? - and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they 
did. 


82 Q.39:53. 


108 



"The reward of such will be forgiveness from 
their Lord, and Gardens underneath which 
rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever - 
a bountiful reward for workers!"®^ 

Among the characteristics of the true believers, 
enumerated in another verse, repentance takes 
precendence of all others. 

"They are those who repent, who worship, 
who praise, who fast constantly, who bow 
down, who prostrate themselves, who 
command the reputable and restrain from the 
disreputable and who keep the ordinances of 
Allah : and bear thou glad tidings to the 
believers. "^4 

The place of honour accorded to those who repent 
of their sins is illustrated by the verses of the Qur'an 
revealed on the occasion of the forgiveness of three 
companions®^ of the holy Prophet, who had been excluded 
from other followers for their failure to accompany the 
Prophet in the expedition of Tabuk. Before the verse 
alludes to the mistake of these companions being 
condoned by God, it mentions the Prophet and the Ansar 
and the Muhajirin in order that no stigma was attached to 
them after their mistakes had been pardoned. The Qur'an, 
in this way, teaches all believers, who take the companions 
of the Prophet as models of virtue, that no ignominy 


83 Q. 3:133-36. 

84 Q. 9 :112. 

83 The companions were K'ab b. Malik, Hilal b. Umayya and 
Murara b. Rabi'I. See the Chap. 'The Expedition of Tabuk.' 

109 



attaches to a man after a genuine change of heart. The way 
these verses explain the consequences of the blotting out of 
the sins and elation of the repentant sinners can hardly be 
found in the scriptures of other religions or treatises on 
ethics. These verses read : 

"Allah hath turned in mercy to the Prophet, 
and to the Muhajirin and the Ansar who 
followed him in the hour of hardship after the 
hearts of a party of them had almost swerved 
aside, then turned He unto them in mercy. 

Lo! He is Full of Pity, Merciful for them. 

"And to the three also (did He turn in mercy) 
who were left behind, when the earth, vast as 
it is, was straitened for them, and their own 
souls were straitened for them till they 
bethought them that there is no refuge from 
Allah save toward Him. Then turned He unto 
them in mercy that they (too) might turn 
(repentant unto Him). Lo! Allah! He is the 
Relenting, the Merciful."86 

Remission of sin leads us to one of the chief 
attributes of the Divine Being, that is. His mercy and 
compassion. The bounty of God's mercy is the constant 
theme of the Qur'an. Says God : "My mercy embraceth all 
things;"®^ while a celestial Tradition of the Prophet tells us : 
Verily, My mercy overcomes My anger." To be despaired 


86 Q. 9:117-18. 

87 Q. 7:156. 


110 



of God's mercy was made a cardinal sin. Quoting Yaqub®* 
and Ibrahim, the two great Prophets of God, the Qur'an 
announces : "Verily, none despaireth of the comfort of 
Allah except a people disbelieving"^^ and "who despaireth 
of the mercy of his Lord save those who are astray?"®^ 

The misery and suffering the human race endured 
in the world was, according to the Jewish and Christian 
doctrines, but a feeble image of the never-ending agony 
which awaited man in the future world. The monastic 
orders of the Medieval Ages had taken up this doctrine, 
which, in itself, was sufficiently revolting , but they had 
developed it with an appalling vividness and minuteness. 
The humanity scared by these ghastly visions and 
glimpses of eternal suffering, was relieved by the Prophet's 
emphasis on God's all-embracing mercy and the efficacy of 
repentance which could wipe the slate clean of even the 
most vicious among the castaways of society. 

Concept of the Unity of Spirit and matter 

And now we come to yet another gift of the 
prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is 
still more far-reaching, more beneficial to the humanity at 
large. This was the concept of the unity of spirit and 
matter, the harmony of the sacred and the mundane. He 
taught that the distinction made between the two was 
superficial and formal, for every action of man, whether 
secular or religious, was guided by his motive or mental 
attitude, which, in the terminology of religion, was known 


*8 Jacob. 

89 Q. 12: 87. 

90 Q. 15: 56. 

Ill 



as niya or intention. For no religious belief is entirely 
divorced from the realities of human experience in its 
manifold practical aspects, the intention or purpose with 
which any act is done sets the test of its being good or bad. 
He did not recognise the division between the temporal 
and the ecclesiastical since man's desire to propitiate God 
and to follow His commands permeates into every fibre of 
human activity, no matter whether it is the art of 
government or war, availing oneself of one's earthly 
possessions, or satisfaction of one's natural desires, or 
earning one's living, or leading a married life. With a noble 
intention every mundane act is turned into a virtuous deed 
and a means to attaining propinquity to God. On the 
contrary, no merit whatsoever attaches to acts like 
devotion to God or fighting in the path of God if the 
sincere desire to attain the will and pleasure of God were 
absent. 

The ancient world had divided life into two 
compartments: religious and the secular; and the result 
was that a wedge had been driven between those who 
selected one of these as the pursuit of their lives. Often, the 
two groups were at logger-heads with one another, for, the 
'world' and 'religion' were to them incompatible spheres of 
human life. Every man had to choose either one of the two 
since nobody could be expected to travel in two boats 
simultaneously. The prevalent view was that the path of 
salvation lay not through the rough and tumble of life, but 
away from the social, economic and political problems of 
worldly pursuits. No concept of religion which bars the 
gates to material progress and acquisition of power, riches 
and fame, could be of interest to intelligent, capable and 

112 



ambitious persons : the result being that a great segment of 
humanity had delivered itself from the religious discipline 
of ascetisim which had come to be associated with religion. 
By withdrawing themselves from the virtuous pursuits, 
these men had prevented the great importance of morals 
from appearing perceptibly in public affairs. The State had 
revolted against the Church and made itself free from all 
moral obligations. This hideous schizophrenia not only 
divested what was called worldly from the gifts of 
spiritual beatitude, but also gave birth to the modern 
faithlessness and agnosticism of Europe which is now 
threatening to inundate the entire world, if only, because 
of its political and cultural supremacy. The present wave 
of crass materialism, loss of faith and moral debasement is 
but a direct consequence of the division between the spirit 
and matter invented by the old pagan civilizations. 

The Prophet of Mercy, who was sent to the 
humanity as a warner as well as a messenger of glad 
tidings, converted the entire life of man into devotion to 
God by denying the existence of any cleavage between the 
spiritual and temporal spheres of human affairs. He 
demolished the wedge between the men of religion and 
those of the world and commanded all of them to unite 
their efforts for attaining the pleasure of God and service 
of humanity. It was because of him that the world could 
see the ascetics who wore crowns on their heads and the 
warriors who spent their nights in devotions and prayers. 

It would be difficult to conceive a more complete 
transformation of life than the one brought about by the 
fusion of the secular and the sacred, which would require 
several volumes to be explained in detail. Iqbal has very 

113 



succinctly versified the significance of this concept in one 
of his immortal poems. 

On monastic order was laid the foundation of 
Church, 

How could mend a city contain the royalty in its 
confines? 

The conflict was deep, between hermitry and 
kingship. 

One was triumphant, the other subdued. 

Politics got rid of religion. 

Helpless was the high priest. 

When the world and religion parted ways. 

Avarice was the Ruler, King and Vizier 
Dualism was the doom of mind and matter. 
Dualism made the civilization blind. 

This is the miracle of a dweller of the desert. 

Whose warnings reflected the tidings-glad; 

That the humanity's only refuge was this. 

That (the mystic) Junayd unites with Ardsher (the 

king)! 

Islam made the man conscious o£ the Ultimate end 
of his life 

Yet another radical change brought about by the 
Prophet of Islam in the life of man was to make him 
conscious of the ultimate end of his life. Unaware of his 
goal and objective, man had his eyes fixed on profane and 
paltry objects. He directed his whole intelligence and 
labour to the acquisition of wealth or land or fame or 
power. Goodness having been associated with the 
pleasurable things, the main object of the vast majority of 


114 



people was to sublimate their conceptions of happiness 
and interest with the satisfaction of carnal desires, songs 
and colour, merrymaking, fun and amusements. Revelry of 
the rich and the powerful soon brought up a class of 
parasites whose whole business was to tickle the fancy of 
their patrons. But Muhammad (peace be upon him) told 
man that the great business of man was to exert himself 
and to strive to attain the perfect knowledge of God; to 
contemplate on His nature and attributes and to lead his 
wandering soul to divine propinquity through realisation 
of the Unlimited; to search out the Unity of the Cause of all 
Causes in the amazing diverse phenomena of Nature; and 
to seek His pleasure through being kind and just and 
virtuous. He told man that these were the objectives whose 
achievement conferred a rank on him envied by the angels 
of God. 

Thus, the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be 
upon him) made a clean sweep of the existing order of 
things in the world. The longings and desires of man were 
now centered on a new objective; the love of God took 
possession of his being; the pleasure of God became the 
immortal thirst of human heart; mercy and kindness to 
God's creatures was recognised as the greatest virtue 
which became the sole object of man's endeavour. 

It was then, after the advent of Islam, that the 
leading feature of all the countries, Arabia and Iran, Syria 
and Egypt, Turkistan and Iraq, North Africa and Spain 
became the search for higher and tender virtues, in the 
pursuit of which we find thousands of love lorn souls. 
During this period we see innumerable men of God 
preaching love of God, kindness and compassion to every 

115 



sentient being, merits of virtuous living, acquisition of 
knowledge for attaining the pleasure of God, revulsion to 
cruelty and indecency and the grace of humility and 
modesty. They taught the lesson of human dignity and 
brotherhood of man and made this earth a kingdom of 
God. 

If you peep into the souls of these elevated souls, 
you would witness unbelievable flight of their 
imagination, purity of their innermost feelings and 
nimbleness of their perceptions. You would see how they 
were ever willing to put their own life at stake for others, 
how they made their own children and family suffer for 
the good of all and sundry, the way they compelled the 
autocratic kings and potentates to do justice to the weak 
and the poor and how rightfully just they were even to 
their enemies. Of a fact, it would have been difficult for us 
to believe today what a fine specimen of humanity, what a 
sublime soul were these men of God if the historians and 
biographers had not preserved a truthful record of their 
lives and doings. 

This striking change in the manners and morals of 
the people was, indeed, the greatest miracle worked by the 
holy Prophet of Islam. 

Verily, God says in truth : "We have sent thee not save 
as a mercy for the worlds ." 


116 



GLIMPSES OF THE PROPHET 
MUHAMMAD'S SUBLIME MORALS 
AND HIS SIMPLE AND NOBLE 
TEACHINGS 

The facts stated above give briefly an idea of the 
difficulties and hardships the Prophet (PBUH) had to face 
in the proclamation of his prophethoodd, propagation of 
his teachings and protection of all those taking to his 
teachings. In a country where there was no government 
and law and order. Where murder and blood shed was, 
whose citizens might be resembling ravenous beasts and 
worse than cattle in ignorance and total absence of 
discernment and rationality. Putting up a claim, queer to 
the entire country, and fomenting trouble and opposition 
among all the tribes, was not so easy. Again, this claim 
gaining favour under conditions of unlimited opposition of 
millions of people, bent on wiping it ot with all their 
might, hearts and minds, and means at their disposal, 
persistently for years together, is certainly a conspicuous 
proof of the Divine Aid. 

In connection with the events related earlier, the 
moral excellence, attributes and laudable deeds outshine 
like pure gold in sand and dirt. And it is these events that 
brings to light the fact that in the totally opposite 
conditions of oppression and helplessness and power and 
majesty, doing existence with the same simplicity can be 
the accomplishment of one whose heart has been totally 
possessed by the Divine Law, purged of all the worldly 
involvements. 


117 



The blessed events of the Prophet's (PBUH) life are 
a model and an example for every person, every class, both 
for individuals and groups and parties. 

Instead of the perfections of the prophethood and 
his characteristics as the Prophet, only those simple natural 
good habits, good disposition, amiability and highly good 
manners shall be taken up here which a born fortunate 
person of a docile nature can take as a model of moral 
perfection: 

Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an 
axcellent example. A1 Qur'an XXXlll: 21 

Our leader, Muhammad (PBUH) was unlettered 
and upto the time of his being raised as Prophet, had not 
had the company of any learned person. 

Archery, horsemanship, use of lance in fighting, 
poetry, panegyric or laudative poetry, geneology were 
those arts and skills of that period which every young man 
of a noble family did pick up for the sake of fame and 
prestige, and without which no one had any chance of 
coming to a position of hnour or distinction in his 
community. The Prophet had not learnt or picked up any 
of these from any body as a student. Nor did he ever 
shown any interest in learning them. 

Administration o£ Professor Cideo, a well known 
French Scholar 

French Professor Cideo writes about the Prophet 
(PBUH): 

"He had a smiling countenance, sociable, mostly 
quiet (a man of few words), remembering God most of the 
time, far away from absurdity, abhorring frivolity and had 


118 



the most appropriate opinion and wisest (among those 
around him). 

In the matter of doing justice he never made any 
distinction between the far and near (close to him or 
present before him and a stranger or one absent). He loved 
the indigent and was happy to be among the poverty 
stricken. He never meted out a degrading treatment to a 
poor person because of his lack of means. He captivated 
the hearts of his associates and patiently put up with the 
uncouthness or objectionable conduct of the ignorant. He 
never parted with any one talking to him until he himself 
left him. He loved his companions most. He had no 
hesitation in sitting on the ground if nothing to cover it 
was available. He himself repaired his own shoes and put 
patches on his clothes. Met even his enemies and 
unbelievers with a cheerful countenance. 

Hujjah-al-Islam Ghazali writes: 

The Prophet offered green fodder to the cattle 
himself, tied the camels, cleaned the house, milked the 
goat, took his food with his servant or slave, gave a 
helping hand to the servant in his work, went to the 
market for purchase of the necessities of life and himself 
brought these things home. He was always the first to 
greet (say salam) to every one, young or old, high or low 
(never allowing them precedence over himself). Whoever 
accompanied him, he walked hand in hand with him. 

He never made distinction between master and 
man, Abyssinian and a Turk. He had the same attire for the 
day and night wear. However lowly a person invited him 
to dine with him, he took it cheerfully. He was not given to 
saving for the morning from the night's viruals, nor from 

119 



the day's food for the night contentment and real trust in 
Allah. He was very soft natured, of a generous disposition 
and cheerful countenance (smiling face) but never laughed 
(loudly) He was mostly full of anxiety for one reason or 
another but not ill-tempered. He was meek but without 
meanness. He was awe-inspiring but not a harsh 
countenance. He was generous but not prodigal. He was 
merciful to one and all but expected nothing from anyone. 
He mostly kept him head-bent. 

Shah Wali-al-Allah writes: 

Whoever happened to confront him suddenly 
became awe-inspired and whoever sat with him for a 
while became a devoted follower and admirer of him. 

He was particularly kind to his kinsmen and those 
serving him. Anas (R) served him for ten years but never 
foul word or abuse befouled his pure, clean tounge, nor he 
ever cursed any one. He showed remarkable patience in 
face of distress from others. He showed profound mercy to 
the people in general. None ever suffered at his hand or by 
his tongue. Reform of his family and the community 
received his first attention. He was aware of every body 
and everything. His attention was focussed on the 
Kingdom of Heaven. 

In Sahih Bukhari it has been said: 

The Prophet (PBUH) gave glad tidings to the 
obedient and warned the disobedient and transgressor. 
Allah's servant and His Messenger offered asylum to the 
uninformed. Leaving everything to Allah (after doing what 
was his own due). Neither harsh in behavior nor in speech. 


120 



Never raised his voice in speaking, nor tit for tat in 
dealings. Those seeking forgiveness, he readily forgave (if 
it was not transgression against God. The sinner also he 
forgave. His mission was to correct the crookedness in 
religion. His teachings gave eyes to the blind, ears to the 
deaf and lifted the curtains from the hearts of the 
negligent. The Prohet's (PBUH) character was decorated 
with every excellence and qualified with all the finest 
attributes. Peace and tranquility was his attire and doing 
good his distinctive sign, taqwa, (piety), his conscience, 
wisdom his speech, justice his conduct. His Shari'ah 
wholly uprightness and his millat (Belief and Faith). 
Guidance is his guide. He removes misguidance, elevating 
the position of the lowly and making the little-known 
outstanding, changing minority into majority and the want 
or destitution into richness. 

His silence and speech 

The Prophet, as a matter of habit, remained silent, 
never speaking needlessly. The Prophet (PBUH) was 
extremely sweet-spoken and eloquent. His speech was not 
at all affected. His words were so captivating as they went 
to the listener's heart and soul. This quality of his speech 
was so compelling as even the adversaries had to admit it. 
And again it was this marvel of his speech which the 
ignorant attributed to sorcery. 

The continuity of his speech was such that, in word 
or purport, there was no fault. He used words with such 
precision and order that if the listener liked, he could count 
them. 


121 



His smiling and weeping 

The Prophet never laughed loudly, nor did he burst 
into laughter on his own. His laughter was limited to a 
serene smile. However in the pre-dawn prayer (Tahajjud) 
he burst into tears at times. 

At other times the death of a sincere associate 
(companion) or kinsman his eyes welled up with tears. 

His infant son, Ibrahim, had died while yet a 
suckling. When he was put into the grave, it was too much 
for a loving father and mercy for mankind and brought 
tears to his eyes. He said: 

"The eyes manifest grief, the heart is grieved too, 
but we say only what our Lord and Sustainer loves to hear 
from us: O Ibrahim thou in thy parting caused us grief." 

On another occasion he happened to lift on to his 
lap his grand daughter, Zainab's (R) dying daughter. His 
love for the child and in death pangs, proved too much for 
him and it brought tears to his eyes. Sa'd (R) asked him 
about this phenomenon and was told that it was due to 
those tender chords in the human heart that are touched. It 
is God-given mercy. And Allah too will be merciful only to 
those of His servant that are kindhearted and show mercy 
to fellow-beings. 

Once Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood (R) was reciting Quran 
before the Prophet (at his bidding). When he came to the 
verse: 

How then if we brought from each people a witness 
and we brought thee as a witness against these people. 

(Q.IV: 41) 


122 



He said to him: "That's enough, Ibn Masood (R), 
lifting his eyes saw tears running down the Prophet's 
(PBUH) eyes. 

Instructions about diet 

The Phophet (PBUH) advised people not to go to 
sleep on a hungry stomach (missing the night meal) and 
pointed to is as a sign of senility. He also advised them 
against going to sleep immediately after supper. 

He used to persuade people to be sparing or at least 
moderate in eating. He used to say to them that they 
should keep one-third of the stomach for food, another 
one-third for water and the last one-third for the stomach 
itself (meaning that the stomach should not be fully stuffed 
to cause it pain or at least inconvenicence and hardship). 

He used to take fruits and vegetable with their 
correctives. 

To be cautious against certain diseases and the 
healthy to be careful were his orders. 

Sick persons were advised by him to get treated by 
a physician clever at his job and also stressed abstention. 
He forbade a novice and a quack to practice medicine and 
held him responsible for damage to people's health. 

He also forbade use of prohibited things as 
medicines and said: "Allah has not kept healing properties 
in the prohibited things for you." 

Visiting the Sick 

Whoever among the companions fell ill, he used to 
visit him. He used to sit very close to the sick person and 
tried to console him. He used to encourage him saying: 


123 



"Allah willing, you shall be all right, there is no cause for 
worry." He also asked the patient if he desired anything, 
and if it was not harmful to him, he would arrange it for 
him. A Jewish boy, who often visited him, fell ill and the 
Prophet visited him in his sick-bed and it is reported also 
that he asked him to embrace Islam and after approval of 
his father, he did. 

Treatment o£ diseases 

When suffering from any ailment, he himself used 
medicines and advised others also to do the same, saying: 

"O ye servants of Allah! Do take medicine, since 
Allah has created a cure for every melody, save one 
disease. People asked him which is that? He said : "It is 
extreme old age (decrepitude). (When the body reaction to 
natural deterioration and the weakening process of 
immunity. 

Speeches 

He used to address people standing on the floor or 
from a pulpit or on camel's back, beginning from bearing 
witness to the oneness of Allah and concluded with asking 
Allah for forgiveness. Something from the Quran was a 
must as part of it and the Islamic principles were taught 
(preached) in it. 

"All those things were explained in the speeches (of 
the Prophet) which were the need of the hour for the 
Muslim community and according to the time and its 
demand everything was covered in them. (Zad-al-Ma'ad 
Vol. 1, P. 49) 


124 



These harangues were not limited to Firday 
congregations, but whenever he felt there was need for it 
he would speak with the Word of God to support his own. 

At the time of speaking he held in his hand a club, a 
bow on which, if need be, he would temporarily support 
himself. But there is no instance of his ever-holding a 
sword in his hand when speaking to an audieance nor he 
ever used it as a body support. 

Hafiz Ibn-al-Qayyim says: "The ignorant are often 
heard saying that the Prophet (PBUH) took the pulpit 
while sword in his hand, pointing to the (most erroneous) 
belief that Islam was propagated at the point of sword." 
The 'Hafiz goes on to say, (is of the opinion) that this 
common belief of the ignorant masses is totally 
unfounded. 

1. Supporting himself on a sword has no proof. 

2. Harangues started in Madinah which had been 
conquered with the force of the Quran and not 
the might of the sword. Again, the Hafiz goes 
on to add that the Islamic Faith was established 
with the Heavenly Revelation. 

Sadaqah and Gifts 

He never used anything coming as Sadaqah 
(charity). However, he had no objection to accept gifts. 

The gifts from sincere Companions (R) as well as 
Christians and Jews he accepted and, in turn, sent them 
gifts. But those from the polytheists were rejected outright. 

He rode the mule sent by Maquqas, the king of 
Egypt, and in the battle of Hunain that same mule was 
under him. But he rejected outright the horse sent by 'Amir 


125 



bin Malik and plainly stated, "We do not accept gifts from 
a polytheist. 

The precious gifts coming to the Prophet (PBUH) 
were usually given to his Companions. 

His own praise 

Any such laudation of his praise that would bring 
other prophets lower, he disapproved in the extreme and 
used to say: 

'Never resort to a mode in relation to the prophet's 
attributes which lowers one than any other.' 

He attended a marriage ceremony where girls of 
very tender age were singing the songs of laudable deeds 
of their encounters. They also sang in praise of the Prophet 
(PBUH) that they had among them a Prophet who can tell 
you today of the happenings of tomorrow. The Prophet 
stopped them from saying those words and asked them to 
continue with their songs of ancestors. 

Pointing out the reality or Correcting an erroneous 
belief 

Death occurred to the Prophet's son Ibrahim. And 
that also happened to be the day of solar eclipse. People 
started talking. "The sun, too, is mourning the death of 
Ibrahim. It is eclipsed. The Prophet addressed those 
present there: Solar and Lunar eclipses are the signs of 
Allah, they do not eclipse due to anybody's death. 

Regard for the general expediency 

When the Quraysh renovated Ka'bah during the 
pre-lslamic period, it was not raised on the old 


126 



foundations. They left out some covered area outside, with 
a plinth so high that ladder was needed to enter the 
enclosure and with only one door. The Prophet one day 
commented on it addressing 'Ayeshah (R). 

"Your community (Quraysh) have embraced Islam 
only lately, otherwise 1 would have demolished their 
structure and made certain necessary alterations. Ka'bah 
needs two doors, one for entry and another for departure. 

When the mischievous activities of the hypocrites 
crossed all limits of decency and humanity, 'Umar Faruq 
(R) suggested that they should be put to the sword. The 
Prophet said to him: "No. People will adversely comment: 
"Mohammad has started killing his own companions and 
friends." 

Humanness and apostleship 

The Prophet always tried to show his commands 
emanating from him as an Apostle separate from those he 
issued as a human being: 

1. Once he said: "1 am after all a human and 
conflicts and quarrels are put up before me. 
Someone of you can express himself and put up 
his case better than the other which gives a 
notion of his truth, and 1 decide the case in his 
favour. So, if a Muslim gets anything from his 
Muslim brother's share, he should clearly 
understand that it is a part of fire, it is up to him 
now to take it or leave it." 

2. He pleaded the case of Mughith and intercessed 
with Baridah a slave girl and his (Mughith's) 
wife. She secured separation from him after 


127 



freedom. Baridah asked the Prophet (PBUH): Is 
that your command to me?" The Prophet 
replied: ? No. It is my intercession on his behalf. 
"To this she said: "I have no need of Mughith." 
The Madinites, on the basis of experience, used to 
sprinkle the pollen dust of male date palm trees on the 
female tree's flowers. The Prophet once casually remarked: 
"Why is the need of this operation?" The owners of date 
palm groves gave up the practice, with the result that due 
to scanty pollination by natural agencies like wind alone, 
fruit that year was scanty too. The date palm growers 
brought this phenomenon to the Prophet's (PBUH) notice. 
He owned it without reserve that they knew their worldly 
affairs better than he did. "Follow me unstintedly with 
certainty only in those things I order you relating to your 
Faith, "he concluded. 

Affection shown to children 

Passing by the children on his way, he greeted 
them initially with the Islamic salutation (As-Salam-u- 
Alaikum, peace be on you). He placed his hand on their 
heads and at times lifted one on to his lap. 

Kindness to the Aged 

After the conquest of Makkah Abu Bakr Siddiq(R) 
brought his old, decrepit, blind father to the Prophet 
(PBUH) for taking baiat of Faith and Loyalty from him. 
The Prophet (PBUH) said to Abu Bakr, "Why did you give 
all this trouble to an old man (in this state of disabilities)? I 
would have myself visited him. 


128 



Honour and prestige to the respectable 

Sa'd bin Mu'az (R) who (came by a severed artery 
of the arm at the expedition of Khandaq which could not 
be sealed and ultimately caused his death), had been 
named by the Banu Quraiza to pronounce his decision in 
their case (of high treason) and called to the scene of 
action. When he came to the mosque, the Prophet (PBUH) 
asked his companions of Aus tribe to pay their respects to 
him by advancing to receive him, saying "Greet and 
receive your leader." And his tribesmen (Aus) followed the 
Prophet's bidding. 

Hassan bin Thabit composed couplets lauding 
Islam and most effective resorts to the adversaries. As the 
mark of recognition of this services to Islam, a pulpit was 
laid in the mosque for his recital. 

Prayer for the person engaged in service to Allah 

Anas bin Malik served the Prophet for ten years in 
Madinah. During this long period he never took him to 
task. One day he prayed for him: "O Allah! Confer on him 
plentiful wealth and progeny and also bless them for him." 

Respect and regard for others and hospitality 

• The Prophet never sat with extended feet (legs) in 
company. 

• Whoever met him on the way, he had precedence 
in greeting him. 

• He also had precedence in shake hand. 


129 



• He called his companions by their patronymic 
appellations. (This was the mode of calling people 
honourably in Arabia) 

• He never interrupted anybody while talking. 

• If he was offering supererogatory prayer and 
somebody happened to come to see him, he would 
shorten it and after meeting his need continued 
the prayer. 

• He was smiling most of the time. 

• One of the camels (dromedaries) of the Prophet 
(PBUH) was called 'Asha. It was swift-footed and 
never allowed any camel to get and advance over 
her. A Bedouin Arab coming along on his mount 
surpassed 'Asha and the Muslims, so to say, took it 
ill, but the Prophet said: 

• The sunnah of Allah in this world is that if He 
exalts any. He also brings him low. 

• There came a person who called the Prophet 
(PBUH) the best (superior most) of the created 
beings. The Prophet (PBUH), however, said to 
him: that title befits only the Prophet Ibrahim 
(PBUH) 

• Somebody came to see the Prophet (PBUH) and 
awe-inspired. He, however, reassured him saying: 
"Be at ease. I am not a king. I am the son of a poor 
woman of Quraysh who used to take dried meat." 


130 



Affection and Clemency 

'Ayeshah Siddiqah (R) says: 

• Nobody in sweet nature and politeness came close 
to the Prophet (PBUH), whether a companion 
called him or a member of his own house his usual 
answer was, "I am here." 

• Supererogatory devotional acts he would always 
perform in seclusion so that the Ummah may not 
be overburdened in his pursuit. 

• When there appeared two alternatives before him, 
he always opted for the simpler and easier one. 

• He entered a contract with his Lord that 
whomsoever he called a bad name or cursed, 
Allah should make it an atonement for his sins 
and a means of His Mercy, forgiveness and 
closeness. 

• He had instructed that they should not talk ill 
about one another in my presence. I want to leave 
this world without any ill opinion about any one. 

• Once on the occasion of solar sclipse, in the special 
congregation, he wept and prayed like this: 

O my Lord and Cherisher! Thou hast promised me that 
my ummah shall not be recipient of any visitation from 
Thee, 

So long I am Here with them, and 

As long as they are beseeching Thee for their 
forgiveness. 

And at present My Lord, I am among them and 
they are all seeking Thy forgiveness. 

131 



For every prophet there was a specific prayer and 
they invoked that and it was blessed with response. As for 
the specific one for me, I have kept it for the Last Day. 

Justice and compassion 

If two person fell foul of each other he meted out 
justice to them. If, however, he had a personal complaint 
against anybody, he would always forgive. 

1. A respectable lady of Quraysh, Fatimah bint- 
Mazan, was found guilty of theft. The tribe 
wanted to save her from the prescribed 
punishment of this crime, chopping of the hand. 
So, as an "effective" measure, they made Osamah 
bin Zaid, a fvaourite of the Prophet (PBUH), her 
intercessor at the court of the Shari'ah. The 
Prophet (PBUH), in spite of his love and affection 
to him, disapproved Osamah's involving himself 
in the case, saying: "Dare you intercess in a limit 
set by Allah? Listen to me, if Fatimah bint 
Muhammad committed theft, I would have her 
hand chopped off." 

2. Sawad bin 'Umar relates that one day he went to 
the Prophet gaudily dressed. The Prophet 
disapproved of it an patted my abdomen with the 
stick he had in his hand. I said to the Prophet 
(PBUH). "I shall avenge my self." The Prophet 
bared his abdomen and said to him: "You are 
welcome to it." (But all that he did was for kissing 
the seal of prophethood). 


132 



Clemency to the enemies 

3. A severe famine struck Makkah, until the starving 
lot was compelled to subsist on carrion and bones. 
Abu Sufyan (one of the arch enemies of Islam and 
Muslims) came to the Prophet (P.B.U.M.) and 
addressed him as: "Muhammad! You preach kind 
treatment of kinsmen. Your community is at the 
doorstep of total annihilation. Kindly pray to God, 
which the Prophet most graciously did and in 
response brought heavy rains. 

4. Thamamah bin Athal stopped supply of food 
grains to Makkans (after his embracing Islam) as a 
sign of goodwill to the Muslim community against 
their deadly enemies. However, the Prophet 
(PBUH) prevented him from persisting with it. 

5. In Hudaibiah the Prophet was offering prayer 
with the Muslims when seventy or eighty persons 
quietly came down the Tan'im mount with evil 
intent of taking a heavy toll of Muslim lives while 
they were engaged in prayers. But they could not 
succeed in their satanic design and were taken 
prisoners. But the Prophet granted them their 
freedom without any ransom or punishment. 

Generosity and magnanimity 

6. He never turned asway a beggar (anyone asking 
for help). Flat refusal was almost a taboo with him. 
If he was unable to do anything for him, he would 


133 



put up an excuse as if he were requesting to be 
forgiven for a shortcoming. 

7. Somebody came to him asking for alms. The 
Prophet (PBUH) said to him that he had nothing 
to give him just then. He could however borrow in 
his name and he would pay it later. 'Umar Faruq 
said to him (the Prophet (PBUH)) that Allah had 
not compelled him to go beyond his means to help 
people. The Prophet kept quiet, evading his 
objection. An Ansari, sitting close by him, spoke 
out: "O Apostle of Allah, why not respond to him 
saying, 'Allah, the Master and Lord of the Throne 
is our Sustainer and as such there is no fear for 
poverty and destitution." The Prophet smiled and 
his face was a glow with delight and he said : "You 
are right. I have these commandments from Him 
(My Master, Lord and Sustainer). 

8. Once he gave an indigent person half a 'wasaq' of 
grain borrowed from some one. The creditor 
turned up later for recovery of his loan. The 
Prophet ordered payment of full one wasaq of 
grains to this creditor, half that he had loaned and 
an additional half from us as a gesture of 
generosity and reward for a good deed (helping a 
destitute). 

9. He used to say and had almost declared it as a 
matter of policy that the assets of the dead is the 


134 



share of the inheritors and the debts are the 
liability of the Islamic state, if he died a destitute. 

Modesty and Bashfullness 

10. Abu Sa'eed Khudri (R) says that the Prophet 
(PBUH) was more modest than a veil-observing 
bashful girl. Whenever something disgusting came 
before him in people's mutual talk, his face 
showed that disgust from his facial expression. 

11. 'Ayeshah Tayyibah has stated that if the Prophet 
did not like any deed or word of any person, he 
did not object to and forbid it pointedly, but in a 
general way showed his disapproval of that word 
or deed (to avoid embarassment of the guilty). 

12. In day-to-day affairs and dealings, he would take 
upon himself the greatest burden but would not 
order anyeone else to undertake it or offer a 
helping hand out of modesty. 

13. Whenever some repentant person begged to be 
excused, the Prophet (instead of scolding or 
lecturing him from a superior stand according to 
the way of people) modestly hung his head and 
accepted his excuse. 

14. 'Ayeshah Tayyibah reports that she never saw him 
naked. 

Patience and Meekness 

15. Zaid bin Sa'anh was a Jew. The Prophet (PBUH) 
had to pay back his loan. He came to him and 

135 



snatched his sheet wrapped around him, caught 
hold of him by his clothes and blurted out saying : 
"The offspring of Abd-al-Muttalib are very stingy 
in matter of payments." Umar Faruq (R) rebuked 
him sternly. The Prophet smiled and said to 'Umar 
(R) that he ought to be a good pay-master and 
taught him good manners in his demands. Then 
he turned to Zaid and said :" There are still three 
days in the expiry of time appointed for 
repayment." Then he ordered 'Umar to pay his 
dues and pay him twenty more, for he had 
scolded and threatened him." 

16. A bedouin Arab came to the Prophet and jerked 
the free end of his sheet so violently that its thick 
border injured his neck, leaving a red mark. And 
then the beduin opened his foul mouth and 
blurted out: "Mohammad! This bounty of Allah 
that is with thee is neighter thine nor thy father's. 
So, give me also a camel load of it." 

The Prophet after a brief pause said to him: 
"This goods certainly belongs to Allah and I am 
His slave." Then he ordered that he should be 
given a camel load of barley and another of dates 
be given to him. 

Prophet's Sufferings atTaif 

The Prophet went to Ta'if to convey the message of 

Islam to the tribes of that (fertile, green and 


136 



prosperous) region of Arabia. The residents of that 
locality threw mud on him and also taunting remarks 
on his return journey and flung stons and brickbats 
on him to make him bleed all over and causing 
unconsciousness. He did not, however, curse them, 
saying to his companion: "If these people do not 
embrace Islam, it is expected, their progeny will do." 


137 



FORGIVENESS AND MERCY 

Ayeshah Tayyibah states that the Prophet (SAWS) 
never avenged himself on anybody. 

His sufferings during the Battle of Uhud 

In the battle of Uhud the Unbelievers hit him with 
stones, causing loss of several teeth, a broken 
forehead, and he also fell into a (cleverly covered) pit 
causing hurt. The companions asked him to curse the 
infidels for their foul deeds. The Prophet (SAWS), 
however, said to them: "I have not been raised to 
curse people. Allah has sent me to make people 
worthy of meeting their Lord worthily." And then he 
prayed like this : "O Allah! Guide my people to the 
Right Path, for they know me not." 

The Prophet (PBUH) (on some expedition) slept 
under a tree, hanging his sword from a branch of that 
tree. Ghauras bin-al-Harith happened to come there 
and, sword in hand, he awakened the Prophet in an 
insulting, brutish manner. He addressed to him : 
"Who is going to save you from me?" The Prophet 
(PBUH) said : "Allah." The infidel fell unconscious. 
The Prophet (PBUH) lifted the sword and asked him 
in return : "Who is going to save you from me." He 
was dumb-founded. The Prophet allowed him to go 
scot free, saying : "I do not take revenge on my own 
behalf." 


138 



Hibar bin Aswad struck the Prophet's daughter, 
Zainab (R) with a spear. She fell down from the litter 
causing miscarriage and that shock ultimately became 
the cause of her death. Hibar begged for mercy and 
forgiveness and was forgiven. 

In his harangue after the last pilgrimage he had 
declared to the largest ever gathering: "I declare all 
those issues causing bloodshed among tribes as null 
and void, and as the starting point I take back the 
claim to avenge a murder in my own family and, 
likewise, the claims of the interest due on the loans of 
my uncle 'Abbas (R). 

Truth and Trusts 

Even the most ardent enemies of the Prophet 
conceded to him these attributes. From his very early 
age he had come to be known as the "Truthful" and 
the "Trustworthy." It was for this reason that the 
unbelievers brought their quarrels before him for 
decision before prophethood. (And the trusts with 
him at the time of his migration were returned to their 
owners by his cousin and companion 'Ali, left behind 
in Makkah with this end in view). 

Once Abu Jahal said to him : "I do not mistrust 
you and call you a liar. But somehow I cannot bring 
myself to agree and give credit to your teachings. 

As already referred to in brief above, the 
infidels who had hatched up the ghastliest 


139 



conspiracies to kill him (the Prophet (PBUH) before 
his migration, he left his cousin 'Ali (R) behind 
(surrounded on all sides of the house by murderous 
wretches, only to deliver safely the trusts lying with 
him, (the Prophet (PBUH)) all this while. 

Modesty and Chastity 

The Prophet says : "I never participated in any 
rituals of the Jahiliyah. Only on two occasions 1 just 
intended to attend and take part in them but was saved by 
Allah from those evils. Once 1 said to my associate 
herdsman that if he agreed to mind my herd, 1 also would 
like to go to the town like other young men telling tales 
and hearing them from others. 1 came to the town with this 
intention, but at the first house of jubilation of a marriage 
there was loud instrumental music. 1 started looking at the 
scene when 1 dozed off into sound slumber. 1 woke up at 
sunrise. Once again 1 came with the same intention but 
sleep overtook me as before and the time passed. Barring 
these two occasions 1 never even intended to indulge in 
abominable things of the culture of Jahiliyah. 

Before ascension to the Prophethood Zaid bin 'Amr 
bin Nufail invited the Prophet (PBUH) to a feast. Meat was 
also served on the table. The Prophet, however, remarked: 
1 abstain strictly from meat from the altars of the seats of 
idols or other dedicated places of your worship. 1 can take 
only that meat over which Allah's name has been invoked 
at the time of slaughter. 


140 



Abstinence 

The Prophet used to pray like this : 

"O Allah! 1 may starve one day and be fed another 
day. With pangs of hunger I may beseech You 
humbly, imploring You for food and after satisfaction 
may be engaged in You Praises. 

Siddiqah (R) says that often for a whole month 
over hearth remained cold without fire (nothing to 
cook food to eat), subsisting on water and dates. 

'Ayeshah (R) says that the Prophet after coming to 
Madinah never had had wheaten bread to eat for one 
whole month. 

At the time of his (sad) demise, his armour was 
lying mortgaged for barley grains with a Jew. 

During the last night of the Prophet on the earth 
'Ayeshah (R) had to borrow oil for lamp from a 
neighbour to dispel darkness. 

He often prayed; "O Allah! Confer on the progeny 
of Muahmmad (PBUH) just enough to satisfy their 
hunger." 

It should be carefully kept in mind that all this 
cautiousness and abstention was voluntary. He was 
under no compulsion to take to this mode of life, nor 
had he any idea to regard or make any permitted 
thing probhibited to himself. Only once in his life time 
he had stopped taking a particular variety of honey 
and had for apparently good reasons sworn against 
its use. One of his consorts did not like the smell of 


141 



that honey which he took at Zainab's place, visiting 
her often for taking it. That particular sensitive 
consort with others brought it to his knowledge, and 
hence abstention. But Allah pointed it out to him that 
making prohibited what Allah had permitted did not 
become a believer, not to say a Prophet (PBUH). 

O Prophet! Why boldest thou to be forbidden that 
which Allah has made lawful to thee. Thou sleekest to 
please thy consorts? But Allah is oft-forgiving. Most 
Merciful. 

-A1 Qur'an LXVLl 

CONSIDERATION FOR THE 
NICE GENDER AND AIDING THEM 

1. The mother of the believers, Safiyah (R) was once with 
the Prophet (PBUTT) in a journey. Tie would take them 
all by turns decided by casting lots, to which they all 
agreed). Safiyah, covering her entire body with a sheet, 
sat on the back seat of the camel with the Prophet. 
When she wanted to take her seat, the Prophet 
extended his knee and keeping her foot on his (bent) 
knee she could go up to her seat safely. (She was short- 
statured and this was the reason to do so). Ayeshah (R) 
had once in a lighter vein hinted at it in the presence of 
the Prophet and had faced his disapproval in a rather 
harsh tone. 

2. Once, as an accident, the she-cameTs foot slipped and 
the Prophet and Safiyah both fell down from camel's 
back. Abu Talhah rushed to the aid of the Prophet, but 
he pointed out to him the principle of 'Ladies first'. 


142 



3. On a particular journey women were riding camels in 
litters (their usual seats). The camel driver who was on 
foot holding the nose strings of their camels, started 
singing songs that prompt the camels to be more swift. 
The Prophet noticing this change in camel's speed 
warned him (the singer) to be careful lest injures 
(damages) the 'glassware' (through negligence). In 
these words of his women have been likened to 
delicate (easily breakable) glass apparatus. Apart from 
their exquisiteness and elegance, comparing them with 
glass is due to their natural weakness which makes 
them deserving of comfort. 

TAKING CARE OF THE PRISONERS 
OF WAR 

The Prisoners of war were treated as guest. One of 
these prisoners captured in the battle of Badr who lived in 
Madinah with the Muslims for a few days, has said: 

"Allah be Merciful to the Muslims, they fed us 
better and looked to our comforts before their own 
families." When the prisoner of war came to him the 
Prophet first of all arranged for their proper dress. 

Mainly Physical exercises 

The Prophet (PBUH) encouraged and induced 
people mainly to do physical exercises. Rukanah was the 
mightiest wrestler of Arabia and conditioned his Islam 
with defeat in bout. The Prophet had subdued him thrice. 


143 



Archery 

The Prophet (PBUH) induced young men to 
marksmanship. For this competition he divided them into 
two groups. Once he asked one party to start competition 
declaring himself with one party. On hearing it, the other 
party restrained themselves from shooting arrows. When 
asked the reason of their withdrawal, they explained that 
since the Prophet was with the other party, how dare we 
shoot against his party. The Prophet said to them: "Do 
continue your shooting, 1 am with both of you." 

Horse racing 

Horse races were conducted under orders of the 
Prophet. A long race used to be a distance of 6 miles while 
a short race was only a matter of one mile. 

Census 

The Prophet ordered that the names of all the 
deliverers be written down for his inspection and it was 
complied with. The number of believres was found to be 
one thousand and five hundred. The Muslims rejoiced and 
thanked Allah for that increase in their numbers. They 
started saying: "We are now a thousand and a half in 
strength, what is there to be afraid of? We have passed 
through a stage when any one of us had to offer his 
prayers alone, and was in mortal fear of enemies attack. 

It is regrettable indeed that we do not know when 
was this census conducted. Other reports of Sahih Bukhari 
put it as the third census, of the then Muslim world 
(Madinah). In the first census the number of the Muslims 
was only 500, and between 700 and 1,000 in the second. 


144 



The teachings o£ the apostle o£ Allah 

The teaching of the Prophet comprising beliefs, 
habits, affairs of life, devotional acts, mortal sins. Salvation 
and Beneficence and good deeds for the sake of Allah's 
pleasure over and above those actuated by 'taqwa' (piety, or 
fear of Allah). It is a limitless ocean leaving nothing out 
which concerns man in any way. The Prophet's (PBUH) 
excellence and perfection and superiority of Islam rest on 
them alone. Here, it is being just touched upon, to be taken 
up in greater detail later. 

Allah's rights to Man's Obedience and Man's rights 
to Allah's bounty 

Man's obligation to Allah lies in His worship and 
taking no partners with Him. And man can expect to 
receive Allah's bounty. 

Allah's Mercy 

The Prophet is reported to have said that Allah, in 
His Book that is with Him on the Throne, has written: 

My Mercy surmounts My Wrath. (Sahih Bukhari) 

Serving the Parents 

A person came to the Prophet and said that he 
wanted to participate in Jehad (striving in the way of Allah 
which may end in armed struggle). The Prophet (PBUH) 
asked him if his parents were alive. He replied in the 
affirmative. The Prophet (PBUH) ordered him to look after 
them, serving them with the spirit of Jehad (intense 
striving with all one's might and resources). 


145 



Mutual help 

A believer is to another believer as the foundation 
bricks which support and sustain one another. Then he 
intertwined his fingers of one hand with those of the other, 
demonstrating how they keep united together. 

Who is a Muslim? 

A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand 
Muslims are safe. 

Perfection of belief 

None of you can be a Muslim unless and until he 
likes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself. 

The (sweet) taste of belief 

Whoever possesses these three qualities shall taste 
the sweetness of belief and faith: 

1. He must be Loving the Allah and His Apostle the most. 

2. His love of his brother must be selfless - only for 
Allah's sake. 

3. To fall into unbelief should be as abhorrent to him like 
falling into fire. 

Desireable dees 

People asked the Prophet (PBUH) which deed 
Allah likes the most. The Prophet (PBUH) replied. "That 
which is perpetuated, though not much weighty 
quantitatively." 

"Take up for action (devotional act) only as much as 
you can easily do." 


146 



PROHIBITION OF UNDERTAKING 
OF BURDENSOME ACTS 

1. The Prophet saw a rope hanging in a house. On 
questioning, he was told that such and such woman 
has put it up to prevent her from dozing off during her 
devotional acts. The Prophet ordered its removal 
adding that devotional acts (super erogatory) should 
be stopped when sprightliness departs. 

2. The Prophet (PBUH) was informed about a woman of 
Bard Asad tribe that she spends the whole night in the 
act of worship acts. He ordered them to stop that 
practice and take up only as much as their physique 
could agreeably stand. 

The Prophet questioned Abd-Allah bin 'Amr bin' 
As about his routine of fasting during the day and beeping 
up the whole night. Abd-Allah confessed the truth of the 
statement. 

The Prophet ordered him not to do it in future. Fast 
for some days and give it up for sometime. Keep up part of 
the night and sleep the remainder. You have an obligation 
to your physique, your eyes, as well as your wife. Pay heed 
to all these obligations, having due regard for all these 
basic rights. 

Labour approved, begging forbidden 

The Prophet said : "If somebody were to bring a 
bundle of fuel wood on his back for sale, it would be better 
for him than his begging with people paying him 
something or ignoring him. 


147 



Enviable Persons 

The Prophet (PBUH) said : Two persons are 
enviable : 

17. Who was given wordly goods and also the grace 
to spend it on permitted things. 

18. One blessed with wisdom, himself guided by it 
and lending others also with it. 

The best moral teaching 

19. Take to righteousness. 

20. Develop mutual love. 

21. Give glad tidings to people from Allah. 

Deeds alone cannot take anyone to heaven. 

Forbidding evil traits and developing fraternity 

"Beware! Do not make suspicion your habit. It is 
falsehood all over. Do not give ear to baseless talk. Do not 
pick holes in others. Do not nurse malice among 
yourselves and do not turn away from any one. Live 
together like brothers (as you really are, being servants of 
Allah). 

The rights of the neighbour and the guest 

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should 
not cause distress to his neighbour. And he who believes in 
Allah and the Day of Reckoning, should honour his guest. 


148 



Speaking and Silence (Keeping Quiet) 

Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of 
Resurrection, should say something pleasing, otherwise 
should keep mum. 

The Guarantee o£ Salvation from the Prophet 

If anybody gives me guarantee of that between his 
jaws (tongue) and also of that between his two thighs, 1 can 
guarantee the paradize for him. 

Teaching Patience and Gratitude 

If you happen to come upon one who is superior to 
you in wordly goods and looks, you should also look at the 
one who is inferior to you in respect of these bounties of 
Allah on man. 

Who is a real Wrestler 

One who subdues another is not a real stout and 
sturdy person. The really strong man, a wrestler, is he who 
suppresses his anger in a moment of heat (upsurge of 
emotions). 

The guidelines for Da'is (those calling to faith) 

The Prophet (PBUH) had despatched Mu'az bin 
Jabah (R) and Abu Musa (R) to reach Yemenites their Faith. 
When departing, he instructed them to make things easy 
for them and not make them troublesome. Give them glad 
things but do not make their Faith loathsome to them. And 
live among them freely mixing together and on good 
friendly terms. 


149 



The effect of love (attachment) 

A person will be with one whom he loves. 

Treatment to be meted out to the prisoners, the 
indigent and the sick 

"Manage release of the prisoners, feed the hungry, 
and look after the ailing (in every possible manners). 

The Reward of Planting a Tree 

If somebody planted a tree whose fruit eaten by 
men and animals, it will be counted as sadaqah (charity) 
for the person planting it. 

Sympathy and Compassion towards Animals 

The Prophet related the story of a traveller who 
was on his way when he became thirsty. He happened to 
come to a well without a bucket or rope available 
anywhere. He got down the well and quenched his thirst. 
When he came out he saw a dog licking moist earth with 
its lolling tongue. He was touched and said to himself, the 
dog is thirsty like 1 was a moment earlier. So he got down 
into the well once again and brought water in his sack for 
the poor thirsty animal and quenched its thirst also. Allah 
was pleased with this act of kindness to animals and 
forgave him his sins, (thus ensuring salvation for him in 
the Hereafter). 

The companions asked him : "Shall we be rewarded 
for kindness shown even to animals, 
O Apostle of Allah! The Prophet replied : "Every living 


150 



being is worthy of compassion and kindness for which you 
shall be rewarded." 

Teaching and moral training o£ the slave girls 

Abd-Allah died leaving behind minor daughters. 1 
married a widow to impart these (orphaned) girls the 
proper education and teach them manners. 

Who is a Hypocrite 

The following four evil traits make a man a perfect 
hypocrite. If any of them is traceable in one's character one 
is infected with hypocrisy to that extent: 

22. Whenever one speaks it is falsehood. 

23. Never fulfils a promise. 

24. Does not honour a pledge. 

25. In quarrelling one stoops to foulness of tongue. 

Who would be entitled to stay under the shade of 
the Great Throne on the Day of Judgement 

1. A Just king 

2. The young man given to devotional acts in youth. 

3. The person whose eyes welled up with tears with 
remembrance of Allah in solitude. 

4. The person whose heart remains occupied with the 
association of a mosque, (in it or thinking of it when 
out). 

5. Both those persons whose mutual love is for Allah 
alone. 


151 



6. The person whom a beautiful, high placed girl invites 
to herself but he says that he fears Allah and seeks 
refuge in Him. 

7. Once who offers charity to the indigent and the needy 
so secretly that his left hand is unaware of what the 
right hand has given. (Charity not for show but 
Pleasure of Allah). 

Obedience to Rulers 

26. If somebody is displeased with the king on any 
issue, it is better for him to built up patiently with 
it. For, even slightly moving away from obedience 
will entitle him to the death of the days of pre- 
Islamic Jahiliyah or Un-Islam. 

27. You will experience, after me, deplorable 
conditions and thing most unpleasant to your 
Islamic taste. His companions asked the Prophet 
(PBUH). "What are your orders for us under such 
circumstances? He said in reply : "Go on fulfilling 
your obligations to him. (the corrupt ruler) and for 
your own (usurped) rights pray to Allah." 

The Role of the Elite in Public Affairs 

"You may go and let your outstanding men put up 

the case before me." 

The outstanding Persons Represent the Community 

The elite of the community came to the Prophet 

(PBUH) and submitted to him that the community has 


152 



agreed to be represented by us and it is with their consent 
that we are here. 

Protection to be offered to the Alien Community 
living in a Muslim State under a pledge of Loyalty 

If a Muslim murders a non-Muslim living under 
protection of the Muslim state under a contract, he will not 
smell the fragrance from the paradise, said to be effective 
from long distance - coverable in forty years in a report. 

LIFE IS VALUABLE AND DESIRE TO 
DIE IS ITS UNDER VALUATION 

No one (a Muslim) should nurse a wish for death. If 
he is righteous, he is likely to progress further in 
righteousness. And if he is wicked it is possible for him to 
repent and become virtuous (even in the last stages of his 
life under compulsion of events). 

THE TWO BLESSINGS THAT OFTEN 
GO UNCARED FOR 

There are two bounties of Allah that most people 
neglect. They are (1) sound health (2) Prosperity and 
Plenty of the resources. 

EXCELLENCE OF PAYING A DEBT 

The Prophet had to return a camel which he had 
borrowed from somebody. The creditor came to him 
demanding it. The Prophet purchased one better than his 
camel and handed it over to him, saying : "The really 


153 



virtuous and superior is that person who pays back his 
debts beautifully (more liberally than usual). 


THE TRUE DEFINITION OF 
WEALTHNESS 

Affluence does not lie in abundance of riches but it 
is a state of man's heart when he is totally independent of 
love of all wordly goods. 

EQUALITY IN GENERAL 

No Arab enjoys any excellence compared to an 
'Ajami (non Arab), nor a non-Arab is superior to an Arab 
anywise. Similarly, a fair-complexioned person is not 
superior to a dark-skinned one and vice versa. Excellence 
for superiority lies only in 'Taqwa' (fear of the displeasure 
of Allah). 


MERCY ABOUNDING 

Whoever does not show mercy to others shall not 
be the recipient of Mercy from Allah. 

EXCELLENCE OF LEAVING 
INHERITANCE FOR THE 
SURVIVORS 

It is better for you to leave your inheritors 
independent rather than leaving them penniless beggers. 


154 



EXAMPLE OF THE FINER SEX AND 
AMUSING THEM FOR AGREEABLE 
RELATIONSHIP 

Woman is like a rib (curved normally) which can be 
broken in an attempt to straighten it out. But it is possible 
to make use of it curved as it is. (Cleverly handling a 
woman in as much as letting her have her own way 
according to her particular bent of mind. She can 
harmlessly cooperate and help a lot in running a 
household and bringing up children nicely). 

WOMAN'S POSITION IN A 
HOUSEHOLD 

A woman is the ruler in her husband's house and 
over her offspring. 

THE HIGH POSITION OF ONE WITH 

DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF THE 
QURAN 

A person who has gone deep into the Quran 
pondering (over) its words, meanings, the background and 
the broad principles about the nature of this scripture, will 
be with the revered chosen and virtuous messengers 
(angels). 


155 



THE WORLD NEEDS TO TURN 
BACK AGAIN TO THE SAME 
MERCY OF THE WORLD' 

As logical results of its criminal negligence towards 
the message of Muhammad's teachings the world again 
has fallen prey to the same anxieties and the agonizing 
restlessness as it suffered in the past before the advent of 
the Prophet Muhammad, the only Mercy for all the 
worlds. A close look at the present gloom, disorder, 
confusion and a wider variety of discriminations the 
world's different systems are reflective of offers 
unrefutable testimony to this phenomenal worldwide 
reality. Much as its all pretensions to the human racial 
equality and the equal human rights the western world 
still continues to be far too below the manner. Should it 
have a look in the mirror, it may see the glaring blots of 
open, outrageous and fragrant violations of human rights, 
prejudices and biased and false discriminations on its 
terrible face. 

To come out of the practices of wrong doings, 
barbarism, racial, religious and geographical pride and 
prejudices, fear, restlessness and intellectual confusing 
disorder the world today stands in dire need to seek refuge 
in the only all including mercy of the last Prophet (PBUH). 
Were it that the world learn again its forgotten lesson and 
come to terms to his noble, equal and indiscriminating 
teachings and which is always prepared to provide a fuller 
protection to all human beings without the slightest 
discrimination whatsoever. May Allah bless His messenger 
with uncountable and unmeasurable mercies and blessings 
on the Prophet Muhammad, the unlettered, the Mercy for 
all the worlds. Being in his permanent slavery 
undoubtedly is highest honour to us. 


156 



CHAPTER FOUR 

UNEQUALED PATIENCE, 
FORTITUDE AND COURAGE 

Jlx Via JilxVl ^ ^UfiVl 

Amongst the people the most to suffer the 
hardships being the Prophets (peace be upon 
them all). Then those who are closer to them 
(in respect of faith and character), and then 
those closer to them. 

Great tragic events in the life of the prophet 
Muhammad SAW 


157 



CLOSER TO HIM, MORE TO BE PUT 
TO TESTS AND TRIALS 

HEAVIER TRAGIC EVENTS IN THE 
LIFE OF THE PROPHET (SAWS) 

Childhood and Youth 

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born in 
Makkah into the tribe of the Quraysh in 570 C.E.. He died 
at the age of 63 in 632 C.E.. in Madinah. Makkah was then 
inhabited mainly by the tribe of the Quraysh. In those 
times, this tribe enjoyed great prestige all over Arabia and 
the neighbouring countries, for Makkah was a flourishing 
trade and religious centre. 

Muhammad suffers orphanage even prior to his 
birth 

Muhammad (SAW) was still in his mother's womb 
when his father, Abdullah, died. Soon after his birth, 
Aminah, his mother, sent the baby to Abdul Muttalib, his 
grandfather, who was overjoyed to receive him, for he had 
loved Abdullah, Muhammad's (SAW) father, very much. 
The grandfather gave him the name "Muhammad", 
meaning "the praised one.' As was the practice of the 
Makkan nobility; he was handed over to a wet nurse, 
Halimah al-Sadiyya, who belonged to the Banu Sa'd tribe. 
This custom is still practiced among the Makkan 
aristocracy. 


158 



Muhammad (SAW) remained in the charge of 
Halimah until the age of five. He learned Arabic in its 
purest form from her tribe. 

After five years of desert life, Muhammad (SAW) 
returned to his mother Aminah, who took him to Yathrib 
(now known as Madinah) to meet her uncles, the Banu a]- 
Najjar. After a month's stay in Yathrib, Aminah set out 
again for Makkah, but, on the way, she fell ill and died. 

The orphan Muhammad (SAW) was then taken 
care of by his grandfather Abdul Muttalib, the chief of the 
Quraysh, who looked after him with great affection. As 
leader of the Quraysh, he used to sit on a cushion in the 
Kabah, and whenever Muhammad (SAW) joined him, he 
was allowed to sit on that cushion. Abdul Muttalib, died 
when Muhammad (SAW) was just eight years old. 

Now the guardianship of Muhammad (SAW) 
passed to Abu Talib, his uncle, who was a merchant. Once 
when Abu Talib was preparing to go to Syria on a trading 
journey Muhammad (SAW) expressed a keen desire to 
accompany him. Though he was rather young to 
undertake such a difficult journey, Abu Talib was so full of 
affection for him that he could not refuse, and agreed to 
take him along. 

By the time Muhammad (SAW) reached adulthood, 
he was well-known in Makkah for his good morals, gentle 
disposition and sincerity. He was called Al-Amin 
(trustworthy) and As-Sadiq (truthful) by his compatriots. 

When Muhammad (SAW) was twenty-five, a rich 
40-year old widow,. Khadijah, entrusted him with the 
management of her business. She used to employ men to 
engage in trading on her behalf, and rewarded them with a 

159 



share of the profits. Muhammad (SAW) was so honest in 
all his dealings that she was deeply impressed by his 
virtues and expressed her desire to marry him. After 
consultations with his uncle, Muhammad (SAW) accepted 
the proposal of marriage. 

Revelations Begin 

With the passing of years Muhammad (SAW) 
became less and less interested in business and devoted 
more and more of his time to the search for truth by means 
of reflection and meditation. He would often go to mount 
Hira, three miles from Makkah, where he stayed in the 
cave there, lost in thoughts for hours. He sought answers 
to the mysteries of life. What is man's true role in life? 
What does the Lord require of us as His servants? From 
where does man come and where will he go after death? 
This phase of Muhammad's (SAW) life is referred to in the 
Qur'an in this verse. 

"Did He not find you wandering and gave 
you guidance?" {A\-Duha, 93:7) 

At the age of 40, the angel of the Lord appeared 
before him bringing the lint message from Allah. 

The angel said to him "Read." 

The Prophet replied, 1 do not know how to read." 

Then Muhammad (SAW) felt that his body was 
being squeezed hard. Then the angel released him and 
repeated the same command. Again Muhammad (SAW) 
replied that he did not know how to read. Then the angel 
again squeezed him and then released him for the third 
time and said: Read." 


160 



Then the angel Jibril revealed to him the chapter Al- 

Alaq. 

"Read! In the name of your Lord, who created: 
created man from a clot (of blood); Read! Your Lord is the 
Most Bountiful One who taught by the pen, taught man 
what he did not know." {Al-Alaq, 96:1-5) 

The Prophet trembled in fear at what he had seen 
and heard in the cave. The revelation had been a totally 
new experience for him. Immediately after the 
disappearance of the angel, he set off home. 

On arrival, the Prophet asked Khadijah to wrap 
him in blankets. He was shivering with high fever. When 
he calmed down, he related the whole incident to her. 

Khadijah, being very kind and understanding tried 
her best to reassure him. 

Khadijah then suggested that they should go and 
consult her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal, who had become a 
Christian hermit. 

Waraqa heard the whole account from Muhammad 
(SAW) and said: 

"I am sure that the angel who descended on 
Moses has descended on you. You will be 
abused, and you will be pursued. 

I wish I could be alive to give you my 
Support when your people will turn you out." 

Will they ruin me out?" The Prophet found this 
difficult to believe. Waraqa replied that people have 
always turned against those who are recipients of Allah's 
messages. 


161 



The First Believers 

The Prophet's wife, Khadijah, was the first convert 
to Islam. When the news of Muhammad's (SAW) prophet 
hood reached his freed slave, Zayd bin Haritha, who was 
30 years of age, and his cousin Ali, who was about eleven, 
both declared their faith in Islam. Abu Bakr, the Prophet's 
friend from childhood, also professed his faith. 

This small group of the faithful were the first 
believers of Islam. In the first stage, the Prophet was asked 
to spread the message of Islam quietly to avoid arousing 
any hostility Abu Bakr, being an influential merchant, was 
able to bring some of his friends, also rich merchants, into 
the fold of Islam. But the majority of the conversions took 
place among the weak and the poor. 

In the second stage, the Prophet received the 
command from Allah to spread the message publicly, but 
first to his own kin. 

For this purpose, he invited his family members to 
a meal at his house. It was Ali who managed the food. 
After they had taken their meal, the Prophet put his 
message before them: that Allah had made him His 
messenger and that they should extend their cooperation 
to him so that he could fulfill this responsibility of prophet 
hood. 

No one among the elders was ready to help the 
Prophet. Only Ali, who was a child of 10-12 years, stood 
up and said: I take your responsibility, O Messenger of 
Allah!" On hearing Ali's response, the Prophet smiled and 
said, "You O Ali, you O Ali!" 


162 



The First Public Call to Islam 

According to Arab Custom, people used to ascend 
a hill when they had to announce some important news. So 
the Prophet, with his all-important tidings, climbed up on 
a hillock called Safa, situated near the Kabah. He then 
called out to the people, who all gathered around him. 
Then he addressed them thus: "If 1 tell you that a big army 
is hiding behind that mountain and is ready to attack you, 
will you believe me?" They all chorused, "Of course, we 
will, for we trust you. We know you always tell the truth." 
Then the Prophet said: 

"Allah has commanded me to warn you, my 
kinsmen, that you should worship none but 
the one and only Allah. If you fail to do so, 
you will mine Allah's wrath. And I will no be 
able to do anything to help you, even though 
you are my kinsmen." 

Abu Lahab, the Prophet's uncle, became very angry 
and said: 

"Woe to you on this day! Did you assemble us 
for this?" 

Some remarked that he had gone mad. Soon they 
all dispersed without caring to give any thought to the 
words of the Prophet. 

Early Hardships 

There was one males reason foe the Quraysh to 
reject the Prophet. Makkah was a centre of pilgrimage 
because of the Kabah, which housed 360 idols of the 
neighbouring tribes and nations. Since Islam believed in 


163 



only one Allah, the Quraysh feared that once the concept 
of one Allah became popular, the tribes would stop 
visiting the Kabah to pay homage to the idols. This would 
deprive them of the respect they commanded as guardians 
of the Kabah. People in great numbers from the 
neighbouring tribes used to visit Makkah all the year 
round to make offerings to the idols. This brought 
prosperity to Makkah, for trade flourished side by side 
with the pilgrimage. Makkah being a desert, no agriculture 
or economic resources existed there. The Kabah was their 
only asset. But, not all of the Makkans were hostile. There 
were people who gave serious thought to the message of 
the Quran and gradually began to accept Islam. In that 
period, about 200 People from Makkah as well as the 
neighbouring settlements entered the fold of Islam. 

The Quraysh, who enjoyed the Makkan leadership, 
considered the teachings of the new religion an insult to 
the religion of their forefathers. In Islam they saw a danger 
to their own leadership. Such leaders as Abu Jahl, Abu 
Lahab were the most hostile to the Prophet. 

The chiefs of different clans gathered to discuss this 
matter. They all felt that if Abu Talib did not come in their 
way, they would have no difficulty in finding a solution to 
this problem. So they all came to Abu Talib to tell him to 
stop Muhammad (SAW) from spreading his message. 

They warned him, "Tell Muhammad (SAW) to stop 
spreading his message, or you will abandon him. If you 
fail to do so, you should be ready to suffer for the deeds of 
your nephew." 

Abu Talib, an old man, felt that he would not be 
able to resist their wrath. So he told Muhammad (SAW) 

164 



what the Quraysh chiefs had said to him and then added, 
"My dearest nephew, look to your own safety, and to the 
safety of your uncle, and do not cause me to carry a 
burden 1 cannot bear." 

For a while the Prophet stood motionless. On the 
one hand, there was his old uncle weakened by the 
people's opposition, and on the other hand, there was the 
responsibility to proclaim the truth till his last breath. So 
he decided to discharge his duty whatever the cost. In a 
firm and calm voice, and with tears in his eyes, he said: 

"O Uncle! By Allah Almighty I swear that 
even if they were to place the sun on my right 
hand and the moon on my left hand, I would 
not give up my mission. I must go on 
carrying it out till I die." 

Abu Talib, touched by the sincerity and force of the 
words uttered by his nephew remained motionless for a 
while. Then he turned to the Prophet and said: 

"My nephew go your way. Do your duty. Let 
my people turn against me. I am with you. 

No one shall harm you as Long as I live." 

Opposition Intensified 

When the Quraysh saw that the pressure on Abu 
Talib had failed, they decided to make life unbearable for 
the Prophet and his followers. Slaves, the weakest sections 
of society, were the worst sufferers. Their masters beat 
them brutally and some of them were beaten to death. But 
they suffered all this patiently. Abu Bakr spent much of his 
wealth on freeing these slaves. 


165 



Even the wealthy Muslims were not spared. They 
were also persecuted. Their own relatives turned against 
them. 

The Makkan did all that they could to turn people 
away from the Prophet. But, in spite of all their efforts, 
Islam continued to spread. Some of the powerful men of 
Makkah accepted Islam. Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, 
Umar ibn Al-Khattab, who was famous for his bravery and 
Abu Dharr Ghifar, were among them. 

The Makkan chiefs were more enraged than before. 
They made life so difficult for the Muslims that a number 
of them migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), a nearby 
country, with the Prophet's permission. At first fifteen men 
and women migrated to Abyssinia slowly, the number 
reached 83. 

This safe haven of the Muslims made the Makkans 
all the more angry. They sent two of their men to Negus, 
the king of Abyssinia. These men brought him precious 
gifts and requested him to turn these 'ignoble' people out 
of his land as they had forsaken their forefather's religion 
to follow a new religion. Negus sent for the Muslims and 
asked them to explain their case. Thereupon, Jafar, son of 
Abu Talib, briefly explained to him the teachings of Islam 
and recited some portions from the Quran from the 
chapter called 'Mary'. Negus was very impressed and said: 
"Go forth into my kingdom; I shall not 
extradite you at all." 

Then he turned to the Makkans and said: 

"Go away, I cannot give up these people. 
They are following the true faith." 


166 



Social Boycott 

With the passage of time, the Makkan chiefs 
became more and more bitter. They felt that it was the 
Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) clan, the Banu Hashim, 
headed by Abu Talib, that was responsible for all this 
misery and that if they had given up the Prophet 
Muhammad (SAW), all his activities could have been 
stopped without delay. They made it known to the Banu 
Hashim that if they did not surrender Muhammad (SAW) 
to them, they would have to suffer the consequences. 

The tribes of Makkah entered into an agreement. 
They agreed to cut off all dealings with the Banu Hashim. 
No one was to sell anything to them. The agreement was 
signed and hung up in the sacred Kabah. This was the 
seventh year of the prophet hood. 

This period of boycott was one of great hardship 
for the Banu Hashim and the Muslims. While this ban was 
in force, Abu Talib, the chief of the Banu Hashim, had to 
take refuge in a narrow valley which came to be known as 
Abu Talib's Pass. For three years, the Prophet and all his 
relatives lived in this valley Many of the Muslims joined 
them. Since all supplies to the valley were cut off, the Banu 
Hashim had to live on the leaves and roots of trees. 

Finally, certain kind-hearted Makkan leaders took 
pity on the Banu Hashim. The agreement was annulled 
and the Banu Hashim could come back to their homes. But 
soon after this, Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, died. His 
health had deteriorated during the three years of hardship. 
Although Abu Talib had not accepted Islam, as head of his 
clan he had protected the Prophet from his opponents. 
After his death, Abu Lahab, another uncle of the Prophet, 

167 



became head of the Banu Hashim. He was the most bitter 
enemy of Islam and the Muslims. He made it clear to the 
Quraysh that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) no longer 
enjoyed his clan's protection. In those days, it was 
impossible for an individual to survive without the 
protection of his clan. 

Khadijah, the faithful wife of the Prophet, also died 
soon after the ban was lifted. Both these deaths took place 
in the both year of the prophet hood. The Prophet 
Muhammad (SAW) said, "Mary the daughter of 'Imran, 
was the best among the women (of the world of her time) 
and Khadijah is the best amongst the women (of this 
nation)." 

The loss of Abu Talib and Khadijah saddened the 
Prophet, for they had been great sources of strength to 
him. It was their deaths that made the enemy bold enough 
to persecute him. One day when the Prophet was praying 
in the Kabah, Abu Jahl put a piece of cloth round his neck 
and twisted it hard. He would have strangled the Prophet 
had not Abu Bakr rushed to his help in time. 

The Journey to Ta'if 

Day by day, the situation worsened. So the Prophet 
decided to go to Ta'if a neighbouring town, 40 miles from 
Makkah to spread the teachings of Islam. He spoke to the 
leaders of the town and invited them to accept Islam. They 
paid no heed to his message. They were such evil people 
that they did not stop at chat. When the Prophet was 
leaving the town in a dejected state, he was chased by 
Street urchins instigated by these chiefs. They abused him 
and threw stones at him as he walked out of town. They 


168 



continued to pelt hint with stones until he escaped under 
cover of the darkness of the night. He stopped on the way 
in an orchard to rest. He was badly hurt, bleeding 
profusely. Yet he only prayed for the guidance of his 
assailants. He did not curse them. In all humility he 
addressed Allah in these words: 

"Oh, my Allah! To You I complain of the 
feebleness of my strength of my lack of 
resources and of my being unimportant in the 
eyes of people. Oh, Most Merciful of all those 
capable of showing mercy! You are the Lord 
of the weak, and You are my own Lord. To 
whom do You entrust me; to an 
unsympathetic folk who would suddenly 
frown at me, or to an alien to whom You have 
given control over my affairs? Not in the least 
do I care for anything except that I may have 
Your protection for myself. I seek shelter in 
Your light — The Light that illuminates the 
Heavens and dispels all sorts of darkness, and 
which controls all affairs in this world as well 
as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I 
should incur Your wrath, or that You should 
be displeased with me. I must remove the 
cause of Your displeasure until You are 
pleased. There is no strength nor power but 
through You.' 

Aishah once asked the Prophet "Have you ever 
experienced a day harder than the day of the battle of 

169 



Uhud?" He replied, "The hardest treatment I met from 
them was on the Day of 'Aqabah when I went to Ibn 'Abd 
Yalil bin 'Abd Kulal (who was one of the chiefs of Ta'if) 
with the purpose of inviting him to Islam, but he made no 
response (to my call)." 

The Migration to Madinah 

The Prophet used to convey the message of Islam to 
the people coming from outside Makkah. People from 
Yathrib (renamed as Madinatun-Nabi, the Prophet's city) 
had started to accept Islam. 

In the thirteenth year of Prophet hood, seventy two 
Muslims from Yathrib came for the Hajj. On behalf of their 
people they invited the Prophet to make Yathrib his home. 
These men from Yathrib pledged to protect the Prophet 
from his enemies. For all this sacrifice they only wanted 
one assurance from the Prophet: that when the Prophet 
gained power, he would not leave them and return to 
Makkah. The Prophet replied: 

"You have that assurance. I am yours and you 
are mine." 

Now the Muslims began to emigrate to Yathrib in 
large numbers to escape persecution at the hands of the 
Quraysh. Only the Prophet, Abu Bakr and a few Muslims 
were left in Makkah. 

This infuriated the Quraysh, for Islam was now 
strengthening its root in Yathrib. There was nothing more 
dangerous than that. So they resolved to remove the 
danger once and for all. They said: "Kill Muhammad 
(SAW) and Islam will die with him." 


170 



The young men with whom the Quraysh planned 
to carry out the assassination, duly collected in that fateful 
night. But before they could put their plan into action, 
Allah, having conceived of a different plan for the Prophet, 
commanded him to leave for Madinah. And who can 
overrule Allah's plan? Accordingly, the Prophet—after 
giving Ali all the people's deposits to be returned to them 
made Ali lie down in his bed, while he himself left the 
house at midnight. 

Before dawn, the Prophet, accompanied by Abu 
Bakr, left Makkah and, about five miles from the city the 
two men took shelter in a cave called Thawr 
When the Makkans learnt of the Prophet's escape, they 
were mad with rage. They offered a reward of a hundred 
camels to anyone who captured the Prophet Muhammad 
(SAW) and a number of horsemen immediately raced Out 
into the desert. Some of them even managed to reach the 
very mouth of the cave of Thawr. Abu Bakr was stricken 
with fear lest they harm the Prophet. But the Prophet 
reassured him, saying: 

"Fear not. We are not two only in this cave. 

There is a third —Allah." 

The Prophet and Abu Bakr lay hidden in this cave 
for three days and three nights. On the fourth day they 
came out and continued the journey. Their guide for this 
dangerous journey was Abdullah ibn al Uraiqit, a non- 
Muslim, who was a friend of Abu Bakr. 

Love for Humanity 

The first problem faced by the Prophet was that of 
the Makkan muhaajirs. They had neither homes nor money. 

171 



Most of them had been well-to-do in Makkah, but they had 
left everything behind them. So the first important thing 
for the Prophet to do was to settle them in their new 
surroundings. 

The solution to this problem was found in the 
concept of brotherhood in Islam. The Prophet collected the 
Muslims and suggested that one Ansar (Madinan Muslim) 
and one Muhajir (Makkan Muslim) should become linked 
together as two brothers. 

The Muslims of Madinah immediately accepted the 
suggestion of the Prophet. Each Ansar took one Makkan 
Muslim as his brother. This bond between the two became 
even stronger than a blood relationship. The Ansar gave 
his Makkan brother half of everything he possessed — 
house, land, money and other belongings. 

The Prophet gave his first sermon after migration to 
Madinah on the first Friday at the Mosque of Jumu'a while 
he was travelling from Quba to Madinah. He said: 

1. Worship Almighty Allah. 

2. You should be truthful in your life. 

3. Love everyone in your society. 

4. Fulfill the promises and commitments you 
make. 

5. Differentiate between the lawful and the 
unlawful in your life. 

6. Behave in a good manner with others. 


172 



The Prophet, after being tortured and forced by the 
Makkans to migrate, did not mention any kind of revenge 
but instead talked about spreading love, peace and 
humanity among the people of Madinah. 

Makkan Opposition 

Prophet was a man of peace and reconciliation. He 
urged his Companions to ask Allah for peace. For the 
Prophet's main task was the communication of the divine 
message to the people. And an atmosphere of peace and 
goodwill was essential to perform this duty But the 
Quraysh did not allow him to work in peaceful conditions. 
When they saw that the Muslims were becoming 
increasingly stronger, they resolved to wage war and crush 
them altogether. 

THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF BADR 

In the second year of the hijrah, during the month of 
Ramadhan, the Muslims came up against the infidels in the 
decisive battle of Badr which was to prove the turning 
point not only in the destiny of Islam but of the entire 
human race. 

That all the conquests gained, laurels won and 
empires founded by the Muslims come from the 
triumphant success achieved by the handful followers of 
Islam at that crucial moment, Allah has identified it as the 
Day of Discrimination. 


173 



"If you believe in Allah and that which We 
revealed unto our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the 
day when two armies met/'^i 

The circumstances that led to this battle were that 
the Messenger got the news that a great caravan with lots 
of money and merchandise, was being led by Abu Sufyan 
on its way back to home from Syria. A state of belligerency 
already existed between the Muslims and the Quraysh, for 
the latter were doing all in their power to play the mischief 
with Muslims, to impede their progress and to liquidate 
their rising power. They were sparing none of their 
financial and physical resources to get on the job and their 
armed detachments very often waded deep into the limits 
of Madina and its pastures to pounce upon the Muslims. 

Now, Abu Sufyan was the worst enemy of Islam 
and, therefore, the Messenger asked the Muslims to get 
ready to intercept the caravan. Since, however, it was a 
commercial caravan and the Messenger merely wanted to 
surprise it, elaborate arrangements required for giving 
fight to an army were not considered necessary. 

Informed of the Prophet's decision to intercept him, 
Abu Sufyan sent a courier to Makkah with an urgent 
request for reinforcements. Thereupon an armed force was 
hastily collected by the Quraysh—all the notable chiefs of 
Makkah accompanied the force to which was enlisted 
every man available from the neighbouring tribes —and 
this army went forth to the succor of their caravan. The 
Quraysh were so flared up that hardly a man remained 
behind in Makkah. 


91 Q. 8:41. 


174 



Faithfulness of the Ansar 

News came to the Messenger that a strong Makkan 
army was on its way to engage him in battle. The- 
Messenger thereupon summoned his followers and asked 
for their advice. He really wanted to know the reaction of 
the Ansar, for, their original compact with him implied 
their defending him in Madina and did not put them 
under an obligation to take part in a military expedition 
outside their territory. The Muhajirin responded first and 
assured him of their help and loyalty. The Messenger, 
however, repeated his question and the Muhajirin gave the 
same reply but the Messenger put the same question again 
for the third time. Now the Ansar realised that the 
question was meant for them. S'ad b. Mu'ad immediately 
got up to say in reply, "O Messenger of Allah, it seems as if 
you mean us and you want to have our answer. Perhaps 
you think, O Messenger of Allah, that the Ansar have 
undertaken to help you on their own territory alone. 1 
want to tell you on behalf of the Ansar that you may lead 
us where you like; align with whom you may desire or 
break relations with whom you may think fit; you may 
take whatever you desire from our property and give us as 
much as you want; for, whatever you would take from our 
property would be dearest to us than what you would 
leave for us. We would follow whatever you would 
command us. By Allah, if you go ahead until you reach 
Bark Ghimdan^^^ we will accompany you, and by Allah if 
you plunge it to the sea, we will also plunge with you." 


® A place in Yemen. Others say that it is the farthest point of 
Hijr. Suhayli, (the commentator of Ibn Hisham) says that 

175 



Then Miqdad got up and said, "O Messenger of 
Allah, we will not say as the Children of Israel said to 
Moses: Go thou and thy Lord and fight, we will sit here;®^ 
we will fight with you on your left and on your right, in 
your front and in your rear." 

The Messenger was delighted to hear the replies 
given by his Companions.. He said, "Go ahead and have 

glad tidings."^4 

Enthusiasm of the Youngsters 

When the detachments went out from Madina, a 
boy of sixteen, whose name was 'Umayr b. Abi Waqqas 
also accompanied the warriors stealthily because he feared 
that if the Messenger saw him, he would turn him back as 
a minor. When his elder brother, S'ad b. Abi Waqqas saw 
'Umayr avoiding the gaze of the Messenger, he asked him 
the reason for it. 'Umayr replied, 1 am afraid that the 
Messenger of Allah would turn me back as a minor but 1 
want to take part in the battle. Allah may Perhaps honour 
me with martyrdom." When the Prophet saw Umayr he 
asked him to go back but he started crying and was 
allowed to stay on. Umayr was killed in the battle and thus 
his heart's desire was fulfilled.' 


according to certain exegetes it was a city in Abyssinia. It, thus, 
meant a far off place. It has been mentioned as Bark-al-Ghimad 
by Ibn Hisham (Zad al-Ma'ad Vol. I, p. 342). 

« Q.5:24. 

94 Zad-al-Maad, Vol. , I. pp. 342-43, In Hisham, Vol. 1, p. 614. 
Bukhari and Muslim have also related the conversation with a 
little variation. 


176 




Strength of the Contending Parties 

The Messenger rallied forth to the battlefield with 
three hundred and thirteen combatants who were not even 
well-equipped. The Muslims had seventy camels and two 
horses on which men rode by turns; there was nothing to 
distinguish the soldiers from the captains, not even the 
eminent Companions like Abu Bakr and 'Umar or the 
Prophet himself bore any mark of distinction. 

The standard of the army was given to Mus'ab b 
'Umayr, the flag of the Muhajirin was with Ali, and that of 
the Ansar with S'ad b. Muadh. 

On coming to know of the approaching Muslim 
army, Abu Sufyan turned off his caravan towards the sea- 
coast. He also sent word to the Qurayshite army, when he 
was at a safe distance from the Muslims, to go back home 
as it was of no purpose for them to proceed ahead. 
Makkans, too, wanted to return home but Abu Jahl 
insisted on going ahead for punishing the raiders. His 
force was a thousand strong with all the veterans and 
noted battlers of Makkah, and all were too well-armed. He 
did not want to lose the opportunity of giving a battle to 
the Muslims.^® On coming to know the names of the 
Makkan chiefs accompanying Abu Jahl, the Messenger 
remarked: 

"The Makkah has brought its pieces of heart 
to you!" 


» Zad-al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 342. 

* Zad-al-Ma'ad, Vol. 1, p. 343 and Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1. pp. 618-19. 

177 



The Democratic Way 

The Qurayshite army halted on reaching a wadi 
near Badi while Muslims pitched their tents on the farther 
side of the enemy. Hubab b. al-Mundhir, however, called 
upon the Messenger to enquire: "O Messenger of Allah, is 
this a place which Allah has ordered you to occupy, so that 
we cannot leave the place, or is it a matter of opinion and 
military tactics?" "No", replied the Messenger, "it is a 
matter of opinion and military tactics and everything can 
be done to ambush the enemy." Hubab then said,. 

"O Messenger of Allah, it is not the place we 
should occupy." He suggested another place nearest to the 
water which was more suitable for giving battle to the 
enemy. The Messenger agreed and ordered his men to 
move on there.^^ 

The Messenger and some of his Companions were 
first to occur the new camping ground in the night; a 
cistern was built and filled with water from which the 
enemy was also allowed to replenish its drinking-vessels.^s 

Allah sent down rain during the night which 
caused infidels great inconvenience by hindering their 
movement. But, it revived the vanishing spirits of the 
Muslims by making the weather pleasant and turned the 
soft sand of the wadi into a compact surface. 

This was a sign of victory as Allah has disclosed in 
this verse of the Qur'an. 

"And sent down water from the sky upon 
you, that thereby He might purify you, and 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, p. 621. 
98 Ibid, p. 622. 


178 



remove from you the fear of Satan, and make 
strong your hearts and firm (yours feet 

thereby."99 

The Messenger as a General 

We find, on this occasion, the Messenger exhibiting 
marvelous qualities of a military tactician and strategist 
which chime with his eternal and universal guidance of 
mankind, providing yet another indication that the 
inspiration drawn by him was from the supernatural 
agency. 100 The way he drew up his troops battles, the 
actions he took to meet the sudden and surprise attacks by 
the superior forces and the deployment of his troops to 
win the battle against the enemy superior in numbers need 
be studied to appreciate the prodigious military genius of 
the Messenger. 

Preparation for the Fighting 

A, booth of palm-branches was erected for the 
Messenger on an elevation overlooking the battlefield. 
Thereafter, the Messenger traversed the plain and pointed 
out the spots to his Companions where the enemy chiefs 
were to fall dead. As it was found later 
on, his prediction proved entirely correct for not a single 


» Q. 8:11. 

10° A detailed account of the defensive and offensive measures 
taken by the Messenger of Allah at Badr can be seen in the 
Hadis-i-Dif'a by Maj. General Muhammad (SAW) Akbar Khan, a 
Pakistani General, and the Al-Rasul-al-Qaid by Mahmud Shit 
Khattab, the ex-Commander-in-chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces. 

179 



Qurayshite chief was found slain at a place different from 
that indicated by the Messenger of Allah. 

When the two armies came up face to face, the 
Messenger said, "O Allah, here come the Quraysh in their 
vanity and pride: they contend with You calling your 
Messenger a liar." 

This was the night of Friday, the seventeenth of 
Ramadan. With the first flush of the morning, the entire 
force of the Quraysh streamed out into the valley and 
ranged itself in the battlefield while the Muslims arrayed 
themselves before them in the foreground.^oi 

Prophet's earnest Entreaty to the Lord 

The Messenger set the ranks of his force in order 
and returned to the hut with Abu Bakr. Putting his head 
on the dust, he supplicated and beseeched Allah for divine 
help. He knew full well that if the victory in the battle was 
to go by numbers and strength, prowess and weapons of 
the two forces, the result was a foregone conclusion. He 
had no illusions for he fully realised that the Muslims were 
weak and few, and the enemy strong and numerous. He 
clearly saw the balance inclining in favour of the Quraysh; 
and now he sought to counterpoise it with a heavier 
weight. He beseechingly entreated the Lord of 
the heavens and the earth. Who shapes all ends and the 
means, to come to the assistance of Muslims in that hour of 
difficulty. He appealed to Allah: "O Allah! If Thou were to 
exterminate this small group of Muslims, Thou wilt be 
worshipped on earth no more!" In a state of extreme 


101 Zad al- Ma'ad, Vol. 1, pp. 343-344. 

180 



exaltation, his hands raised in prayer and on bended 
knees, he sent up the prayer: "O Allah! Fulfill what Thou 
hast promised to me! Help us Thou, O Allah !" So lost was 
he in the prayer that the mantle on his shoulder fell on the 
ground. Abu Bakr, who was too distressed to see the 
Messenger of Allah in tears, consoled and comforted 
him.102 


The True Position and Station of the Muslims 

The prayer of the Messenger, although brief, speaks 
volumes of his pure-hearted Companions, his unflinching 
confidence in Allah in the hour of crisis, his feeling of 
humbleness and meekness before Allah and the serenity of 
his own heart. At the same time, the Messenger's prayer 
sets forth, in terms as clear as crystal, the true position and 
station of his followers amidst the nations of the world; it 
brings out the worth, utility as well as the requisiteness of 
the people who are charged with the responsibility of 
taking his mission ahead. It is, in fact, a plain and clear 
annunciation that the responsibility lying on these people 
is to surrender to the Will of Allah, to bend down their 


See Zad al-Ma'ad and other biographies of the Messenger. 
Muslim relates (in Kitab-ul-Jihad wal-Siyar) on the authority of 
'Umar b. al-Khattab that "on the day of Badr when the 
Messenger camped with his three hundred and nineteen 
Companions, he turned towards the Qjbla and, raising his hands, 
started imploring Allah: "O Allah! Grant me the help which 
Thou didst promise me'. O Allah! Grant me what Thou hast 
promised to me. O Allah! If this small group of Muslims is 
exterminated today. Thou -wilt be worshipped on earth no 
more!" 


181 



necks before Him with a contrite heart and to summon the 
people to yield their obedience to Him. 

And, the Messenger's prayer was answered by 
Allah with a resounding victory which was beyond the 
bounds of every reason and probability. It was but a 
demonstration of the truth of his affirmation about the true 
character of his followers. 

The Messenger then came back to his men and 
delivered a short speech stressing the merits of fighting in 
the way of Allah. In the meantime 'Utba b. Rabi'a and his 
brother and son, Shayba and Walid, stepped forward in 
the fashion of the Arabs. Three of the Ansar came forward 
to give them battle, but the Quraysh asked, "Who are 
you?" 

"We are Ansar", they answered. 

"You are of noble blood," said the Quraysh, "but 
send our peers; the men of our own tribe." 

The Messenger now said, "Go ahead, O 'Ubayda b. 
al-Harith, Hamza and 'Ali: Advance! all three of you to 
oppose them." 

The Quraysh then said, "Yes. You are noble and 
our peers." 

Now 'Ubayda being the eldest, challenged 'Utba b.. 
Rabi'a, Hamza faced Shayba and 'Ali came full tilt against 
Walid. With swift dispatch, Hamza and 'Ali slew their 
opponents, but 'Ubayda and 'Utba still struggled with one 
another. Hamza and 'Ali then made a dead set at 'Utba 
and did away with him. They bore away and brought 
'Ubayda back to their ranks for he had been bally injured. 
Later on 'Ubayda died of the excessive loss of blood.' 


182 



'Umayr, then, took some dates out of his quiver 
and began to eat them, but suddenly he said, "If I live till 
my dates last, it would mean delaying it for long." So he 
threw away the dates in his hand and ran to the battlefield 
and fought with the enemy until he was dead. He was the 
first martyr on the day of Badr.^o^ 

The Muslims fought the Makkans like a firm, 
united and disciplined army with the name of Allah on 
their lips. Up to the moment the Messenger had remained 
quiet and collected, but now he charged into the ranks of 
the enemy. None was now braver than he, none dared 
engage the enemy so closely.i^^ Allah now sent down hosts 
of the angels to the help of the Muslims; the enemy seemed 
to be giving way to the Muslims and was driven back by 
the fierce charge of the invisible battlers. 

"When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying) 

I am with you. So make those who believe 
stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of 
those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks 
and smite of them each fingerl'^o^ 

The Ambition of two Brothers 

Full of enthusiasm, everybody seemed to be bent 
upon outdoing others in a deed of valour and to be 
honoured with martyrdom. Even close friends and full 
brothers vied with one another to excel the other. 'Abdur 
Rahman b. 'Auf says, "I was fighting in my rank on the 


103 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. 1, p. 345 and Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 215. 
101 Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 425. 

105 Q. 8:12. 


183 



day of Badr, when, lo! I saw on my right and left two very 
young boys; and I did not feel quite happy to see them on 
my sides. 10® Suddenly, one of them asked me in a low 
voice, so that his companion should not hear: O my uncle! 
Show me Abu Jahll— 1 said: O my brother's son! What 
have you to do with him?—He answered: 1 have vowed 
before Allah that 1 shall kill him when 1 see him, or shall be 
killed by him! — And the other boy spoke to me likewise in 
a low voice, so that his companion should not hear. 1 
pointed him out to them, and they threw themselves upon 
him like two hawks, and struck him down. And they were 
the sons of 'Afra'."i°^ 

When Abu Jahl was killed, the Messenger of Allah 
remarked, "This is Abiijahl, the Pharaoh of this nation." 

The Great Victory 

The day of Badr drew towards its close with the 
Muslims hushed with success and the infidels trampled in 
the dust. On this occasion the Messenger paid homage to 
Allah, saying: "Praise be to Allah Who fulfilled His 
promise, and helped His servant, and alone routed all the 
hordes." 

That was exactly what had happened, for the 
Qur'an also says: - 


1°® Abdur Rahman would have expected grown up men with 
him who could be expected to assist him in the fight. 

Sahihaian, The incident quoted here has been taken from Bukhari, 
Kitab-ul-Maghazi, see Gazw'a Badr. Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 444. 

184 



"Allah had given you the victory at Badr, when you 
were contemptible. So observe your duty to Allah in order 
that you may be thankful."io8 

The Messenger ordered that the dead among the 
infidels should be thrown into a pit. As the Muslims threw 
them, the Apostle went there and said standing over the 
pit: "O people of the pit, did you find that what your Lord 
said is true? For 1 have found that what my Allah 
promised me is true."io9 

On the day of Badr, seventy infidels were slain and 
an equal number was taken captive. 

Casualties among the Muslims were fourteen, six 
belonging to the Muhajirin and eight to the Ansar.no 

Effects of the Victory of Badr 

The Prophet returned to Madina at the head of a 
victorious army. The enemies of Islam were appalled and 
disheartened by the victory at Badr: the Messenger's 
prestige rose in Madina and his influence gained a hold 
upon the surrounding district. A large number of persons 
who had been hesitant so long in Madina accepted the 
faith of the Messenger. Abdullah b. Rawaha was one of the 
two persons sent by the Messenger to Madina in advance, 
before he returned to the city. He gave the good news to 
the people, saying, "Rejoice O Ansar, for the Messenger of 
Allah is safe and infidels have been killed and captured". 
He enumerated the names of the Qurayshite nobles and 


Q.S: 123. 

Bukhari, on the authority of Bara' b. Azib. 
110 Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 463. 


185 



chiefs killed in the battle to every man he met; children 
accompanied him Singing songs of joy; some took the 
news to be true while others were confounded. Then the 
Messenger returned to Madina followed by the prisoners 
of war with the Messenger's slave Shuqran keeping an eye 
on them. ™ When the Messenger reached Raha, the 
Muslims met and congratulated him and his Companions 
on the victory Allah had given him. 

The defeat suffered by the polytheists plunged 
Makkah in gloom: there was not a house in the city which 
did not go into mourning. 112 The Makkans stood aghast 
and agitated. Abu Sufi'an swore that until he had fought 
with the Messenger again he would not take a bath. The 
suppressed Muslims of Makkah, on the other hand, 
breathed a sigh of relief and felt elated. 

Ties of Blood or Faith 

One of the captives was Aba 'Aziz b. 'Umayr b. 
Hashim, a full brother of Mus'ab b. 'Umayr. The two 
brothers were the standard bearers of the rival armies. 

Mus'ab b. 'Umayr passed by his brother when an 
Ansari Youngman was tying up the hands of Abu 'Aziz b. 
'Umayr. Mus'ab called out, "Bind him fast, for his mother 
is sufficiently rich; perhaps she would pay a handsome 
ransom." 

Turning to Mus'ab in amazement, Abu 'Aziz b. 
'Umayr said, "Brother, is it you to give this counsel?" "You 


111 Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, pp. 170-73. 

112 


186 




are not my brother", replied 'Umayr, "he is my brother 
who is tying up your hands." 

Treatment of the Captives 

The Messenger ordered his followers to treat the 
prisoners generously. He said, "Deal kindly with them." 
Abu 'Aziz b. 'Umayr relates that he was lodged with an 
Ansari family after being brought from Badr. They gave 
him bread for the morning and evening meals hut 
themselves took only dates as ordered by the Messenger of 
Allah. If anybody had a morsel of bread, he gave it to Abu 
'Aziz although he felt ashamed and refused it, yet they 
returned it untouched and insisted on his taking it.^i^ 

Ransom of the Prisoners 

The Messenger accepted ransom for the prisoners 
according to their means; the Qurayshite kinsmen of the 
captives paid sums of money for their relatives, while 
those who could not pay any ransom were set free without 
any payment. The Messenger's uncle 'Abbas b. 'Abdul 
Muttalib, his cousin, 'Aqil b. Abi Talib,' his son-in-law, 
Abul 'As b. Ar-Rabi, who was married to his daughter 
Zaynab, were among the prisoners of war but none was 
shown any favour; all were treated like other captives. 

There were some prisoners who were unable to pay 
any ransom. But as they were literate, they were allowed to 
earn their freedom by teaching the art of reading and 
writing to the children of Ansar' —ten children being 
taught by very prisoner.' Zaid b. Thabit was one of those 


113 Ibn Kathir,Vol. II, p. 475. 


187 



who had been taught by the captives of Badr. The 
importance attached to edification and enlightenment by 
the Prophet of Islam as exemplified by his decision on this 
occasion needs not further explanation. 


188 



THE BATTLE OF UHUD 


Revenge —A Binding Obligation 

The news of the disaster at Badr in which a number 
of Qurayshite nobles had fallen in the fray and the 
survivors had returned pell-mell to Makkah, was received 
with an utter dismay that completely bewildered the 
Quraysh. It had proved an unimaginable catastrophe for 
them. All those persons whose fathers, sons or brothers 
had been killed at Badr, met Abu Sufyan and others who 
had merchandise in the caravan brought back safely to 
Makkah. It was agreed to set aside the profits of the 
caravan for the conduct of a new war against the Muslims. 
The poets, as usual, began inciting the people with their 
songs of vengeance. To the pagan Arabs, blood called for 
blood in order to vindicate their honour. 

A well-equipped army set out from Makkah to 
fight the Messenger in the middle of Shawwal, 3 A.H. The 
Quraysh had mustered an army of three thousand soldiers 
consisting of their own warriors and such of the tribes as 
would align with them. Their women went with them 
riding the dromedaries to stir their valour and prevent 
them from taking to flight, The nobles of the Quraysh 
also took their wives with them. The army advanced by 
easy stages and camped at the gates of Madina. The 
Messenger's plan was to remain in the city, leaving the 
invading army alone, and fight only when it decided to 
enter the city. He was not for going out of the city to face 
the enemy in the battlefield. 'Abdullah b. Ubayy, too. 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 60-62. 

189 



agreed with the Messenger, but some of the Muslims who 
had somehow missed the opportunity of engaging the 
enemy at Badr were more enthusiastic. They said, "O the 
Messenger of Allah, go forth, and smite our foes, otherwise 
they would think that we fear to leave the city and face 
them." While they kept on urging the Prophet in this wise, 
he went into his house and put on his coat of mail: The 
young men who had been keen on meeting the enemy 
outside the city repented on their unwise zeal when they 
saw the Messenger putting on the armour. Realizing their 
mistake, they begged the Prophet to follow his first counsel 
for they were mistaken in persuading him against his will. 
"If you wish to remain inside the city", they said, "we will 
not oppose you." 

But the Messenger of Allah replied, "It befits not a 
Prophet, when once he has put on the armour, to lay it off 
until he has fought. 

The Messenger marched out with an army one 
thousand strong. But he had not gone far afield when 
'Abdullah b. Ubayy withdrew with a third of the army's 
strength. 'Abdullah said to his comrades, "He disregarded 
my advice, but accepted theirs." 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 63. 
11® Ibid., p. 63. 


190 



The Prophet takes the Position 

The Prophet marched into the gorge of mount 
Uhud, about three kilometers to the north of Madina, and 
took up his position with the mount on his back.ii^ 

He also instructed his men, "Let none of you fight 
until I give you the word." 

The Messenger then drew up his troops for battle, 
which numbered 700 men in all. On any adjoining mount 
he established 50 archers under 'Abdullah b. Jubayr and 
instructed them to keep the enemy cavalry away, for, he 
said, in no case should they be allowed to come on the 
Muslims from the rear whether the Muslims won the day 
or lost it.118 "Abandon not your position," he commanded 
them sternly, "even if the birds snatch up these men."ii9 

The Messenger put up two coats of mail on the day 
of Uhud and gave the standard to Mus'ab b. 'Umayr. 

Enthusiasm of the Youngsters 

The Messenger had sent back two boys, Samura b. 
Jundub and Rafi' b. Khadijah, as they were but fifteen 
years of age. Rafi' was later allowed by the Prophet to join 
the troops on the recommendation of his father who said 
that Rafi' was a good archer. When Samura's turn came 
and he was asked to go back, he pleaded that the Prophet 
had allowed Rafi' although he could throw Rafi' in 


To get a clear picture of the disposition of troops, see. The 
Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad, by Dr. Muhammad 
Hamid Ullah, pp. 24-25. 

118 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 66. 

11® Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 349 and Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, 
Section 'Battle of Uhud'. 


191 



wrestling. Thereupon the two lads had about of wrestling 
in which Samura defeated Rafi', and he was also allowed 
to go to the battle .120 

The First Phase o£ Action 

The battle began and each side hurled itself against 
the other, while a group of women, headed by the blood- 
thirst Hind, rattling tambourines with singing, urged the 
Qurayshite troops to deeds of valour. A general 
engagement ensued and the battle grew hot. Abu Dujana 
fought with the Messenger's sword, killing everybody who 
came up against him, and advanced deep into the enemy's 
ranks.121 

Hamza and Mus'ab b. 'Umayr killed 

Hamza fought gallantly and killed a number of 
notable Quraysh leaders. Nobody was able to stand his 
dashing charge. But, Wahshi, the slave of Jubayr b. 
Mut'im, was watching the movements of Hamza, for he 
had been promised freedom by his master on the condition 
that he killed Hamza. Jubayr's uncle Tu'ayma had been 
killed by Hamza at Badr, while Hind had also urged 
Jubayr to get Hamza killed by Wahshi. At last, Wahshi got 
his chance and took Hamza unaware. An expert javelin 
thrower as he was, he launched his javelin at Hamza, 
piercing the lower part of his body. Hamza staggered, then 
he collapsed and dropped dead.' 122 


120 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 66. 

121 Ibid, pp. 67-68. 

222 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 70-72. Wahshi later narrated the event 
as related in the Sahih Bukhari, Section : Battle of Uhud. 

192 



Mus'ab b. 'Umayr entrenched himself in the 
defense of the Prophet, exhibited singular courage in the 
thicket of the battle and kept the attacking infidels at bay. 
He fell, at last nobly discharging the duty he owed to Allah 

and His Messenger .123 

Victory of the Muslims 

Allah fulfilled the promise He had made to the 
Muslims. The history of Badr was repeated once again; a 
number of the Quraysh nobles fell in succession and their 
troops took to their heels. The Muslims found Hind and 
her Companions forget their songs and running away 

tucking up their garments.'i24 

The Table Turns on the Muslims 

The Quraysh had suffered an obvious rout. The 
ignominious retreat of the enemy troops and the women 
accompanying them taking to their heels made the archers 
certain of their victory. Uttering shouts of glee, they 
deserted their post to despoil the enemy camp. 'Abdullah 
b. Jubayr, the leader of the archers, reminded his men of 
the command given by the Messenger, but none was 
prepared to listen to him. So certain were they of their 
victory that return of the enemy running away for its life 
seemed inconceivable to them. And, then, the situation 
changed. No longer carried by the flying charge of arrows, 
the 'Makkan cavalry found its way to the unprotected rear 


123 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 73. 

124 Ibid., p. 77. 


193 



the 


of 

Muslim army.125 

The standard-bearers of the Quraysh had been 
killed; their standard was lying in the dust and nobody 
dared come near it. Suddenly, the Quraysh came smashing 
through the Muslim rear and someone called out: 'Ha, 
Muhammad (SAW) (peace be upon him) has been killed." 
The Muslim troops, bounded upon the fugitives, turned 
back to face the enemy in the rear; the decamping 
'Qurayshite soldiers were emboldened and returned to 
resume 

their attack on the Muslims. The situation now became too 
critical for the Muslims; the enemy was bent upon taking 
full advantage of the opportunity afforded to it. 

The surprise and confusion overtaking the Muslims 
was as sudden as the two-pronged attack by the Makkans 
was violent. The Quryshite troops led, by 'Abdullah b. 
Qumiyah and 'Utba b. Abi Waqqas, made a bold charge 
and reached well nigh the Messenger. The Muslim troops 
began to waver, several were honoured with martyrdom; 
and the Messenger was hit with a stone. 

Prophet's tooth got smashed his blessed lip injured 

He fell on his side, one of his front teeth was 
smashed, his face was scored, and his lip was injured. The 
blood running down his face was wiped by the Messenger, 
saying the while, "How can a people prosper who have 


125 Zad-al-Ma'ad, Vol. I., p. 350. 



stained their prophet's face with blood for he summoned 
them to their Lord?" ^26 

The majority of the Muslim soldiers had been 
scattered and nobody knew where the Prophet was. 'All 
took hold of the Messenger's hand while Talha b. 
'Ubaydullah lifted him up until the Prophet got on his feet. 
Malik b. Sinan was so carried away that he even licked the 
blood flowing from the Messenger's face. 

The Muslims had actually neither fled away nor 
had they been discomfited. Their flanks had folded up and 
so they had to make good of their retreat in order to gather 
their strength for facing the suddenly changed situation. It 
was, no doubt, a day of test and trial for the Muslims in 
which they lost a number of their gallant warriors and 
angelic comrades of the Messenger, but. all this had come 
to pass because of the mistake .of the archers who had 
exposed the Muslim flank. They had disobeyed the 
Messenger by abandoning the post on which the 
Messenger had stationed them. 

"Allah verily made good His promise unto you 
when you routed them by His leave, until (the moment) 
when your courage failed you, and you disagreed about 
the order and you disobeyed, after He had shown you that 
for which you long. Some of you desired the world, and 
some of you desired the Hereafter. Therefore, He made 
you flee from them, that He might try you. Yet now He has 
forgiven you and Allah is Bounteous to the believers.''^^^ 


126 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 78-80. 

127 Q. 3 :152. 


195 



Devoted Companions Sacrifice their lives to defend 
the Prophet (SAWS) 

The battle of Uhud also gave occasion to the 
reflection of worthiness and ardent affection of the 
Companions for the Prophet. Two rings from the metal 
chain strap of the helmet put on by the Messenger had 
been driven into his cheek. Abu 'Ubayda b. al-Jarrah 
pulled out one of the rings and one of his front teeth 
dropped out; he pulled out another ring and another tooth 
dropped out. Abu Dujana leaned over the Messenger to 
shield him from arrows until many were stuck in his back. 
S'ad b. Abi Waqqas stood by the Messenger shooting 
arrows in his defense, while the Messenger handed him 
the arrows one by one, saying, "Shoot, may my father and 
my mother be your ransom."i 28 

Qatada b. al-Nu'man got a blow on his face which 
made one of his eyes come out of its socket. The Prophet 
restored it to its place with his own hand and it was so 
completely healed that its eye-sight became better than 
that of the other one .129 

The blood-crazy infidels surged toward the 
Messenger; they were ready to die a hundred times for 
killing the Messenger, but Allah had willed it otherwise. 
Ten of his Companions laid down their lives, one by one, 
defending him. Talha b. 'Ubaydullah protected the 
Messenger from the arrows shot by the enemy with his 
hands, until his fingers bleeded profusely and his hands 
were palsied. The Messenger wanted to climb up a rock on 


128 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 80-82, Bukhari. 

129 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 82. 


196 



the mountain. He tried to get on it but could not do so 
owing to weakness caused by the injuries. Talha b. 
'Ubaydullah squatted beneath him and helped him to 
climb up the rock. The Messenger performed the noon- 
prayer on the rock sitting, because of the wounds he had 

received.130 

When the Muslims had been taken by surprise and 
dispersed by the enemy horsemen prodding them on the 
one side and the foot-soldiers on the other. Anas b. an- 
Nadr^o continued to fight valiantly; advancing far into the 
enemy ranks. S'ad b. Mu'ad happened to pass by him and 
he asked, "Whither you intend to go?" Anas b. an-Nadr 
replied, "S'ad, 1 inhale the fragrance of Paradise from the 
hill of Uhud." 131 

Anas b. an-Nadr came by a few Ansar and 
Muhajirin who were sitting gloomily. He asked them, 
"What makes you sit there ?" 

"Alas! The Prophet of Allah has gone to glory", 
they replied. 

"Then what's the use of living after him ?," 
answered Anas b. an-Nadr, "Come, let us die for what the 
Prophet gave his life." Anas then advanced to make a dead 
set at the enemy and died fighting like a hero. His nephew. 
Anas b. Malik, later on counted seventy wounds his uncle 
had received that day. Actually, it was difficult to 
recognise the corpse of Anas b. an-Nadr. It was his sister 


13° Uncle of Anas b. Malik, the personal attendant of the Prophet. 
131 Zad al-Maad, Vol. I, p. 350. 


197 



who identified him by a special mark on the tip of a 
finger .132 

Ziyad b. as-Sakan and five others of the Ansar were 
holding off the enemy bearing down upon the Messenger. 
The friends of Ziyad fought and died, man by man, and 
Ziyad fell disabled with numerous wounds. The 
Messenger asked certain persons to bring Ziyad near him 
and made his foot a support for Ziyad's head. Ziyad died 
in that condition keeping his cheeks on the Prophet's 

foot.133 

'Amr b. al-Jamuh was lame of a leg. He had four 
sons, all of them were young and sturdy, and each was 
anxious for taking part in the battle. On the day of Uhud 
'Amr b. al-Jamuh expressed his desire to go to the battle 
field, but his sons requested him to remain at home, saying 
that Allah had excused him. He called upon the Messenger 
and told him that his sons wanted to prevent him from 
taking part in the jihad.'i34 "Yet, by Allah, 1 wish to be slain 
so that 1 may stroll lamely in the Paradise," said 'Amr b. al- 
Jamuh. The Messenger replied, "Allah has not made jihad 
incumbent on you;" and to his sons he said, "What is the 
harm if you allow him to go?" 'Amr b. al-Jamuh, went 
with the army and was killed in the battle.^^s 

Zayd b. Thabit relates that on the day of Uhud the 
Messenger asked him to seek out S'ad b. ar-Rab'i and ask 
S'ad, after conveying his greetings to him, how he felt at 


132 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 83. 

133 Ibid, p. 81. 

134 Lit. An effort or striving: Fighting in the way of Allah. It may 
be defensive or offensive, but solely for a cause just and right. 

135 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 353. 

198 



the moment. Zayd searched for S'ad b. ar-Rab'i and found 
him lying wounded among the slain breathing his last. 
Zayd counted seventy cuts of swords and arrows and 
javelins on his body. Zayd conveyed the message of the 
Messenger to S'ad b. 

ar-Rab'i to which he replied, "Convey my greetings to the 
Prophet and tell him that 1 am inhaling the fragrance of 
Paradise." "And tell my people" continued S'ad b. ar- 
Rab'i, "you would have no excuse with Allah if the enemy 
lays its hand on the Messenger of Allah while you still live 
and breathe" S'ad had hardly finished his message when 
he relinquished his life.'i^^ 

Before departing for the battle of Uhud, 'Abdullah 
b. Jahsh had thus implored Allah, "Upon, Thy Word, O 
Allah, tomorrow 1 shall fight the enemy. They ought to 
slay me, rip up my belly and cut off my nose and ears. 
Then Thou should ask me what for had it happened? And 
1 would give the reply: For Thee, My Lord.''^^^ 

Muslims Regain Confidence 

A new life was up into the Muslims when they 
found that the Messenger was still alive. Many of them 
pulled round him and took him up towards the glen. 
Ubayy b. Khalaf caught-up with the Messenger's party and 
said, "Muhammad, (peace be upon him) if you escape, 1 
will be doomed " The Messenger, however, asked his 
Companions to let him alone, but when Uhayy insisted on 
coming near the Messenger he took the lance from one of 


136 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 353. 

137 Ibid. 


199 



his Companions. Then, turning to face him, the Messenger 
thrust it in the neck of Ubayy b. Khalaf who fell from his 
horse going head over heals.i^® 

On reaching the mouth of the glen, 'Ali brought 
water in his shield and Fatimah washed the blood from the 
Messenger's face. However, his wounds were still bleeding 
'Ali burnt a piece of mat and dressed the wounds of the 
Messenger with its ash and then the bleeding stopped.^^g 

'Aisha and Umm Sulaym brought drinking water 
on their backs in leather bags for the wounded^^o^ while 
Umm Sulayt drew water for them.i^i 

Hind b. 'Utba and the women with her mutilated 
the dead bodies of Muslims and cut off their ears and 
noses. Hind cut out Hamza's liver and chewed it, but as 
she could not swallow it, she threw it away. 1^2 

Before ordering his army to retire, Abu Sufyan 
ascended a hillock and shouted, "Victory in war goes by 
turns: one wins today and the other tomorrow - Glory be 
to Hubei." The Messenger told 'Umar to get up and say in 
reply, "Allah is the Highest and Most Majestic; none exists 
besides him. Our dead are in paradise and yours in 
hell."i43 Abu Sufyan came out with the reply "We have the 
idol 'Uzza while you have none." The Prophet, again. 


138 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 84. 

139 Ibid, p. 85, Bukhari and Muslim, Section, Battle of Uhud. 
118 Bukhari, Section, Battle of Uhud. 

111 Bukhari, Section, Umm Salit. 

112 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 91. 

113 Ibid, p. 93. 


200 



directed his Companions to say in reply, "Allah is our 
Lord but yours is none." 1^4 

Before Abu Sufyan departed, he called out, "We 
shall meet again at Badr next year." Thereupon the 
Messenger asked a companion to say, "Yes, it is an 
appointment between us." 

The people searched their dead and gave them a 
burial. The Prophet was visibly moved by the death of 
Hamza, his uncle as well as foster-brother, who had 
always been a source of strength to him. 

The Exemplary Endurance 

Safia bint 'Abdul Muttalib was full-sister of Hamza. 
When she came forward to see her brother, the Prophet 
asked her son, Zubair b. al-'Awwam, to send her back so 
that she might not see her brother's dead body which had 
been mutilated. Accordingly, Zubair said to her, "Mother, 
the Prophet wants you to go back." She replied, "Why? 1 
know that my brother has been mutilated but it was for the 
sake of Allah. 1 hope a goodly return from Him and shall 
be patient, if Allah wills." She went to see her brother and 
prayed for him. Then the Messenger ordered that he 
should be buried in Uhud, where his grave still exists. 

Burial of Mus'ab b. Umayr 

The standard-bearer of the Prophet on the day of 
Uhud was Mus'ab b. Umayr. Before his conversion to 
Islam he was one of the best dressed young men of 

144 Bukhari, Section, Battle of Uhud. 

145 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 94. 

146 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 97. 


201 



Quraysh brought up in the lap of luxury. Only a piece of 
coarse cloth could be found as a shroud for his burial when 
he was slain in the battle of Uhud. The cloth was so small 
that when his head was covered his feet got disclosed and 
when his feet were covered, his feet was exposed; so the 
Messenger said, "Cover his head and put some rushes over 
his feet."i47 

The Messenger directed to shroud the martyrs in 
pairs and ordered to lower the corpse of that martyr first in 
the grave who had learnt more of the Qur'an. While the 
martyrs were being buried, he said, 1 shall be a witness 
unto them on the Day of Resurrection." He also ordered to 
bury them in the condition in which they had fallen.'i48 

Loving Regard for the Prophet (PBUH) 

On their way back to their homes certain Muslims 
passed by a woman whose husband, brother and father 
had been killed at Uhud. When she was told of their death 
she asked, "Tell me first about the Messenger?" The people 


147 Bukhari, Chap., Battle of Uhud. 

Bukhari, Battle of Uhud. There is no difference of opinion in regard 
to burying the martyrs, without washing them, so that they 
present themselves before Allah in the condition they were slain. As 
for the burial service. Imam Malik, Imam Shafei and Imam Ahmad do 
not 

consider it necessary while Imam Abu Hanifa (and others like Imam 
Awzai, Sufyan, Thauri, Ishaq b Rahuway) say that the burial service 
should be performed. Imam Ahmad also relates a tradition about the 
offering of burial service over the martyrs. Bukhari has also related a 
Tradition on the authority of Uqbah b. 'Amir that once the Prophet 
went to Uhud and recited burial prayer for the martyrs. 

202 



replied, "Thanks Allah, the Messenger is safe." But she was 
not satisfied and asked whether she could herself see the 
Messenger. When the people brought her to the Messenger 
she said, "Now that you are safe, every adversity is gone." 

149 

Devotion and Faithfulness 

The Makkan army had departed from Uhud but 
they had not gone far away when the people were heard 
complaining against one another and accusing their 
leaders for withdrawing without pressing home their 
advantage. On the other hand, the Prophet decided the 
very next day, which was Sunday, to set out in pursuit of 
the retreating enemy. It was the time when most of the 
Muslims were tired and wounded, but the Messenger sent 
a crier to announce that everybody who had been present 
in the battle of Uhud should get ready to pursue the 
enemy. None demurred, none protested; every Muslim 
who had fought at Uhud the day before followed the 
Messenger on his way out of Madina in spite of his fatigue 
and wounds. The Prophet bivouacked with his followers at 
Hamra' al-Asad, about 13 kilometers from Madina, where 
he remained from Monday to Wednesday. The Prophet 
returned when there was no more any possibility of the 
enemy's return.iso The dutiful compliance of the Prophet's 
command by his Companions at this difficult hour exhibits 
their love for him felt all too deeply which has been made 


149 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 99. 

150 Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 97. 


203 



immortal by Allah through the exquisite expression of the 
Qur'an. 

"As for those who heard the call of Allah and 
His Messenger after the harm befell them (in 
the fight); for such of them as do right and 
ward off (evil), there is great reward. 

"Those unto whom_said: Lo! the people 

have gathered against you, therefore fear 
them. (The threat of danger) but increased the 
faith of them and they cried; "Allah is 
sufficient for us! Most Excellent is He in 
Whom we trust!" 

So they returned with grace and favour from 
Allah, and no harm touched them. They 
followed the good pleasure of Allah and 
Allah is of infinite bounty. 

"It is only the devil who would make (men) 
fear his partisans. Fear them not; fear Me, if 
you are true believers."^^^ 

Precious as Apple of the Eye 

In the third year after hijrah, the tribes of 'Adal and 
Qara sent an embassy to the Prophet asking for 
missionaries who could teach them the rudiments of faith. 
The Messenger sent them six of his Companions who 
included Asim b. Thabit, Khubayb b. 'Ady and Zayd b. 
Dathinna. When this party reached ar-Raji', a place 

Q. 3: 172-75 


204 



between 'Usfan and Makkah, the two tribes treacherously 
fell on them. The Muslims took out their swords to fight 
them but the assailants swore by Allah that they would not 
kill them. Three of the Muslims replied that they could not 
kept any undertaking given by the pagans; so they fought 
and were killed. The remaining three, Zayd, Khubayb and 
'Abdullah b. Tariq surrendered. The last one also broke 
locks in the way but was killed by the polytheists while the 
remaining two were sold by them to the Quraysh. Hujayr 
b. Abu Lahab bought Khubayb to even the score of his 
father lhab and Zayd was purchased by Safwan b. Umayya 
to have his revenge tor Umayya b. Khalaf. 

When Zayd was taken out for execution, a number 
of Qurayshites, including Abu Sufyan, gathered to witness 
the barbaric spectacle. Abu Sufyan asked Zayd, "Verily, for 
Allah's sake, O Zayd, don't you wish that Muhammad 
(SAW) (peace be upon him) had now been in your place 
and you with your family?" "By Allah," replied Zayd, "1 
don't wish Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be hurt 
even by a thorn when 1 should be in sweet repose with my 
family." Thereupon Abu Sufyan remarked: 1 have never 
seen any man so much adored as Muhammad (peace he 
upon him) is loved by his Companions." Zayd was killed 
thereafter. 1^2 

Then they brought Khubayb to crucify him. He 
asked his executioners to allow him to offer two rak'ats of 
prayer. Having performed the prayers in complete repose, 
Khubayb said to them, "Were it not that you would think 


Ibn Hisham Vol. II, pp. 169-76, Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

205 



that I only delayed out of fear of death 1 would have 
prolonged my prayer." Then he recited these verses : 

"I fear not which side I fall to depart; 

It's all for Allah who will bless the limbs taken 
apart." Khubayb was stricken dead with the song of love 
on his lips.153 

Bi'r Ma'una 

Another act of treachery took place shortly 
thereafter. A tribal chief, 'Amir b. Malik,, expressed the 
desire to have the doctrines of Islam explained to his 
people. The Messenger deputed seventy persons, some of 
whom were his eminent Companions, but when they 
reached the place called Bi'r Mauna, the tribesmen of Banu 
Sulaym, Umayyad, Ri'l and Dhakwan ambushed the party. 
The Muslims fought bravely and all but one were killed. 
K'ab b. Zayd returned to tell the story. He died in the 
Battle of Trenches.154 

Dying Declaration of a Martyr 

One of the Muslims who was killed treacherously 
on this occasion was Haram b. Milhan. The words uttered 
by him at the time of his death brought about the 
conversion of his killer Jabbar b. Salma to Islam. Jabbar 
used to relate later on that what led him to accept Islam 
was that he attacked a man with his spear, and when he 
saw the point of his spear coming out of his chest, he also 
heard him crying, "By the Lord of K'aba, 1 have 


153 Ibid, p. 174; Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, pp 123-25. 

154 Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 186. 

206 



succeeded!" Jabbar further says that he wondered what 
sort of success it was. Was the man not killed by him? - 
Jabbar enquired from others who told him that the man 
had meant martyrdom and thus be was convinced that his 
victim had really been successful.i^s 

Expulsion of Banu an-Nadir 

The Messenger approached Banu an-Nadir to 
demand a contribution to be paid as blood-money to the 
Bani 'Amir since two men had been killed inadvertently by 
the lone survivor of Bi'r Man'iia. Banu an-Nadir, being one 
of the two influential tribes of the Jews settled in Madina, 
were in alliance with Bani 'Amir and were thus liable to 
pay the blood wit. They feigned willingness to accept the 
demand with pleasure, but kept themselves busy in 
plotting against the Prophet. While the Messenger was 
asked to make himself comfortable by the side of a wall of 
one of 

their houses, they took counsel with one another, saying; 
"Never would you get such a golden chance. If some one 
of us drops a rock on him from the top of the house, we 
shall all get rid of him". Abu Bakr, 'Ali and 'Umar and a 
few more Companions were with the Messenger on this 
occasion. 

Allah informed the Prophet of the treacherous plan 
of the Jews. He went back to Madina and ordered to make 
preparations for war against the Banu an-Nadir. Thus, the 
Messenger came upon them in Rabi' ul-Awwal, 4 A.H. The 
siege of Banu an—Nadir lasted for six nights whilst Allah 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 187. 


207 



cast terror in the hearts of the Jews. They requested the 
Prophet that if he agreed to spare their lives they would 
quit the city with their belongings except the arms. The 
offer was accepted and Banu an-Nadir departed from 
Madina after destroying their houses and loading 
all that they could on their camels.i^'^ 

The Surah al-Hashr (surah of Exile) in the Qur'an 
calls attention to the banishment of Banu an- Nadir. 

"He it is Who has caused those of the people of the 
first exile. Ye deemed not that they would go forth, while 
they deemed that their strongholds would protect them 
from Allah. But Allah reached them from a place whereof 
they reckoned not, and cast terror in their hearts so that 
they ruined their houses with their own hands and the 
hands of the believers. So, learn a lesson O those who have 
eyes!"^^^ 

Many of these exiles settled in Khyber, the Jewish 
centre in the north of Hijaz, others went away to the far off 
Syria, and the Muslims got rid of that sneaky dark corner 
of deception in their midst without having to meet the 
Jews in an open fight. The lands and groves left by the 
Jews were divided up among the first Makkan emigrants. 

The Raid of Dhat-ur-Riqa 

In the fourth year of the hijrah, the Messenger of 
Allah decided to make a raid into Najd. With six of his 
Companions, of whom Abu Musa al-Ashran was one, he 
made for an oasis in that area. The party had to cover the 


156 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 187. 

157 Al-Qur'an 59:2. 


208 



distance mostly on foot, as only one camel was at their 
service. The incursion was called Dhat-ur-Riqa as the 
Companions taking part in the expedition had to bandage 
their injured feet and toes.i^® 

The Messenger's party approached the enemy, but 
there was no fighting for each feared the other. The 
Messenger led the prayer of fear in this expedition.i^^ 

Who can now save you? 

While the Prophet was on his way back to Madina, 
he happened to lie down to take rest under the shade of a 
thicket of acacia trees after hanging his sword to a branch. 

Jabir relates that he was taking a nap along with his 
friends when they heard the Messenger calling them. They 
saw a Bedouin sitting by the side of the Messenger and 
when they went to him, he said, "1 was sleeping when this 
man came and took hold of my sword. As 1 woke up 1 saw 
him with the sword drawn over my head, and he was 
asking me, "Who can now save you from me?" 1 replied, 
'Allah'. Now he is sitting before you." The Messenger did 
not, however, punish the Bedouin, 


158 Bukhari, Chap. Expedition of Dhat'ur-Riqa. 

159 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 204. 

1®° Bukhari, Chap. Expedition of Dhatur Riqa. 

209 



THE BATTLE OF TRENCHES 


The Battle of Trenches, or of Clansi^i, as it is called 
sometimes, took place in the month of Shawwal, 5 A.H. 
The battle was accompanied with great difficulties and 
overcome with comparable courage: it forged and tested 
the fortitude and patience of the Muslims that was to 
prove of immense benefit to them not only in winning over 
the Arabian Peninsula to their faith but also in taking its 
message to the distant lands. It was a decisive conflict 
between Islam and un-lslam, between light and darkness, 
whereby the Muslims were put to the most severe 
trial never faced earlier by them. Depicting the siutation, 
the Qur'an says : 

"When they came upon you from above you and 
from below you, and when eyes grew wild and hearts 
reached to the throats, and you were imagining vain 
thoughts concerning Allah. 

"There were time believers sorely tried, and shaken 
with mighty shock, 

The Jews were the real instigators of hostilities 
leading to the Battle of Trenches. Certain persons 
belonging to Bani an-Nadir and Bani Wa'il, who made no 
secret to see the Muslims uprooted, called upon the 
Quraysh at Makkah and invited them to extirpate the 
Muslims altogether. At first the Quraysh did not show 
much interest in the venture for they had already twice 
measured swords with the Muslims, but the Jews painted a 


“1 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 214. 
“2Q.33:10-11. 


210 



rosy picture of the affair and promised support of all the 
Jewish settlements in Arabia for getting rid of the Muslims 
once for all. The Quraysh ultimately agreed to their 
suggestion. The deputation of the Jews then went to the 
great desert tribe of Ghatfan and urged them to join in the 
expedition for the destruction of Yathrib. They called upon 
all the clans of Ghatfan assiduously inviting them to join 
the Quraysh in their combined drive against Islam.^'^s 

An alliance was thus formed between the Quraysh, 
the Jews and the Ghatfan to wage on all-out war against 
the Muslims. An important clause of the agreement made 
for the venture was that the Ghatfan would muster six 
thousand soldiers for the military operations while the 
Jews would give them a whole year's harvest of Khaybar 
to compensate for the expenses incurred by them. The 
Quraysh, on their part, agreed to contribute four thousand 
combatants. An army of ten thousand strong was thus 
mobilised and Abu Sufyan assumed command of the 
combined force.'^'^^ 

Wisdom : A Lost Property of the Muslims 

When the Prophet had hews of their design to wipe 
the Muslims out of existence, he conferred with his 
companion how to meet the threat. It was decided to fight 
a defensive war resisting time attack of the enemy on the 
city instead of facing the coalition in a pitched battle 
outside Madina. The Messenger assembled a force of three 
thousand men-at-arms for the defense of the city. 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 214-15. 
“4 Ibid., pp. 219-20. 


211 



It was the Persian companion called Salman who 
advised to dig a trench on the side Madina lay open to 
cavalry attack/ phis device was well-known to the 
Iranians/'’'^ Salman is reported to have said: "O Messenger 
of Allah, when we feared a charge by the cavalry we used 
to dig trenches to keep the invaders at bay." The 
Messenger agreed to his suggestion and decided to have a 
trench dug in the open ground lying to the north of 
Madina. The city was exposed only on that side and was 
well protected to the west, south and east by clumped 
plantations, volcanic rocky plains and granite hills, 
presenting a considerable obstacle to the progress of a 
mounted army.i^^^ 

The Messenger marked the planned ditch and 
assigned forty cubits of digging to every batch of ten 
persons, The length of the trench was about five 
thousand cubits, its depth varied between seven to ten 
cubits and the width was normally nine cubits or a little 
more.i® 

Enthusiasm and the Cooperative Spirit 

The Messenger himself helped the parties digging 
the portions of the trench allotted to them. Although the 


“5 Ibid., p.224. 

16® Khandaq, as the trench is called, is the Arabacised form of the 
Persian Khandak and Kandak. 

16^ The trench lay in the north of the city, its eastern end began at 
harrata Waqim and extended up to valley of Bathan where the 
basalt plain of the west begins '(Abdul Quddus Ansari, Athar al- 
Madina). 

168 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 192. 

169 Ghazwah Azhab by Ahmad B. Shum'il. 

212 



winter season had set and was extremely harshi^o and the 
impoverished Muslims had but little provisions to satisfy 
their pangs of hunger, the work proceeded smoothly 
owing to the enthusiasm, and perseverance of the 
volunteers. 

Abu Talha relates that once when he was exhausted 
by hunger, he complained to the Messenger and showed 
his belly on which he had tied a slab of stone for allaying 
the uneasy sensation. The Messenger of Allah then showed 
him his own belly on which he had tied two slabs of 
rock!i7i 

But, everybody was happy and cheerful in spite of 
these privations. The Messenger's Companions sang songs 
of pridei ^2 chanted praise to Allah to keep themselves 
busy in their task without a word of complaint on their 
lips. 

Anas relates that once the Messenger came to the 
place where they were digging the trench. He saw the 
Ansar and the Muhajirin working hard to complete their 
work despite biting cold of the chilly morning for they had 
neither slaves nor servants to dig the trench for them. 
Seeing how they were labouring with their empty 
stomachs, the Prophet said: "O Allah, life is truly the life of 
Hereafter; so pardon the Ansar and the Muhajirin." 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 216. 

Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. II, p. 448. It was a custom among the 
Arabs that when they felt unbearable pangs of hunger, they used 
to tie a slab of rock on their bellies in order to allay the uneasy 
sensation and to be able to do their work. 

Called Rajz. 


213 



Overjoyed to hear the Messenger invoking 
forgiveness for them, the people present there said in 
reply: 

"It is we who have pledged to Muhammad, 

To fight in Jihad till the spark of life is 
imbued." 

Anas further says that if one of them happened to 
procure a handful of barley, he used to grind and mix it 
with a little fat to be shard by all even if its smell and taste 
were disagreeable. 

Miracle predicting a Bright Future 

A large rock was causing great difficulty in digging 
the trench for it could not be broken by the pick. When the 
Messenger was informed he dropped down into the trench 
and gave such a blow with the pick that one-third of the 
rock has hewed asunder. Thereupon the Prophet said, 
"Glory be to Allah, the keys of Syria have been given to 
me." With the second blow of the pick, the Prophet hewed 
another one-third of the rock and said, "Glory be to Allah, 
the keys of Persia have been given to me. By Allah, 1 see 
the white castle of Mada'in (Ctesiphon).'? In the third 
attempt, the remaining portion of the rock was broken to 
pieces. The Messenger then said, "Glory be to Allah, 1 have 
been given the keys of Yemen. By Allah, 1 can now see the 
gate of San'a.i74 

At the time when this prediction was made, no 
prophecy could be more remote from the way things fall. 


Bukhari, Kitab ul Maghazi, Chap. Ghazwatul Khandaq. 
174 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 194. 


214 



The Muslims were then emaciated by meager diet and 
bleak weather and the army advancing against the not too 
well fortified city was threatening to deal a death blow to 
its defenders. 

The Fiery Ordeal 

The Muslims had hardly finished work on the 
trench when the Quraysh arrived and encamped outside 
Madina. They had ten thousand well-equipped warriors 
with them. Ghatfan had come with their confederate tribes 
and made their camp with the Quraysh. The Messenger 
assembled his three thousand men to face them, the trench 
intervening between the camps of the two armies. Bani 
Qurayza, the Jewish tribe of Madina, had made a treaty 
with the Messenger for the defense of the city. However, 
Huyayy b. Akhtab, who was the chief of Bani Nadir 
deported earlier from the city, coaxed Bani. Qurayza into 
breaking the pledge made by them. 

The Muslims were placed in a desperate position; 
the air of insecurity and fear enveloped the city. The faint¬ 
hearted hypocrites now showed white feathers;, they even 
sowed seeds of discontent among the rank and file. The 
Prophet at once realised the dangerous plight of the 
Muslims in general, and that of the Ansar in particular, 
who had always had to bear the major brunt of war with 
the infidels. The Messenger, therefore, proposed that it 
might be worthwhile to make peace with Bani Ghatfan by 
giving them one-third of Madina's date harvest. The 
Messenger did not want the Ansar to have any more 
trouble for his sake. But Sad b. Mu'ad and S'ad b. 'Ubayda, 
the two chiefs of Aus and Khazraj, did not agree to the 


215 



suggestion. They said, "O Messenger of Allah, when we 
and the Ghatfan were polytheists and idolaters, neither 
serving Allah nor knowing Him, they got none of our 
dates except as guests or by purchase. Shall we give them 
our property after Allah has honoured us with Islam and 
you guidance? No, by Allah, we shall not give them 
anything but the sword until Allah decides between us." 
"As you please," replied the Prophet and 
gave up the idea.^^^ 

The Actual Fight - 

The army of the Prophet pitched its tents behind 
the trench and kept a watch day and night. Beyond the 
trench, the allied forces laid a siege of the city but the 
stalemate continued, for a' few days without any actual 
fighting between the two armies. The enemy cavalry rode 
ahead and, on coming nearer, suddenly saw a wide ditch. 
The unexpected filled them with consternation. 

"A novel device, a wily ruse" they exclaimed in 
amazement. How was the ditch to be crossed, they asked 
one another—and decided to go round the trench to find 
where it was the narrowest. Some of them beat their horses 
so that they jumped over the moat and carried their riders 
into the territory of Madina. One of these was the well- 
known warrior, 'Amr b. 'Abdul Wood, who was 
considered a match for a thousand horsemen. After 
crossing the ditch, he stopped and challenged anyone to 
fight him. 


175 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, pp. 202-3. 

216 



'Ali immediately sprang forward and said to him, 
"'Amr, you declared to Allah that if a man of Quraysh 
offered you two alternatives you would accept one of 
them." 

"Yes, 1 did", replied 'Amr. 

"Then," said 'Ali, "1 invite you to Allah and His 
Messenger and to Islam." 

'Amr replied, "It's of no use to me." 

"Then 1 call on you to face me", rejoined 'Ali. 

"Why", said 'Amr, "O son of my brother, by Allah, 
1 do not want to kill you." 

"But," retorted 'Ali, "1 do want to kill you." 

'Amr was flushed with anger. He dismounted his 
horse and hamstrung it and slapped its face; then he made 
for 'Ali. Amr fought; jostled with 'Ali, made thrusts and 
parried, but ultimately 'Ali cut off 'Amr's head with a 
sweeping slash of his scimitar. Two of his comrades who 
had stormed the trench with him darted back on their 
horses. 

Ardent Zeal of Muslim Women 

'Aisha, who was then in the citadel of Bard Haritha 
with other Muslim women, was young enough to screen 
herself from men. She says that S'ad b. Mu'ad passed that 
way. He was putting on a coat of mail so small that his 
hands were fully exposed. He was reciting some verses 
when his mother told him to hurry up lest he should he 
late. 'Aisha said to his mother, "Umm S'ad, by Allah, 1 
wish that his coat of mail were longer." The fear expressed 
by 'Aisha ultimately proved to be well justified for S'ad 
was shot by an arrow on his arm and died of excessive 


217 



bleeding during the subsequent battle with Bani 
Qurayza. 

Help from Allah 

The siege continued for a month or so. The 
Muslims were hungry and weary while the besieging army 
was fully provided with arms and provisions. The 
hypocrites showed their true colours and many of them 
asked for the permission of the Prophet to go back to 
Madina on the pretext that they had come in a hurry 
leaving the doors of their houses unlocked. They simply 
wanted to pull out from the battle front. 

The Messenger and his Companions passed their 
days in a nervous strain, harassed by the enemy in front 
and worried by the menace of the Jews in the rear. Then, 
suddenly one day Nu'aym b. Mas'iid, belonging to the 
Ghatfan, came to the Messenger and told him that he had 
secretly embraced Islam, and his own people did not know 
of it. He also offered to do whatever he was bidden. The 
Prophet replied, "You are the only man there, so remain 
with them and try to help us, for war is but an artifice and 
a clever device." 

After taking leave of the Prophet, Nu'aym b. 
Mas'iid went off to Bani Qurayza with whom he talked in 
a way that they began to wonder whether they had taken a 
correct decision in abandoning the Muslims, their next- 
door neighbours, for the sake of the distant tribes like the 
Quraysh amid the Ghatfan. He advised them that it would 
be wise of them to demand some notable members of the 


176 Ibn K'athir, Vol. Ill, p. 207. 


218 



Quraysh and Ghatfan chiefs as hostages before joining 
their fight, so that they got a fair deal from their new allies. 
Bani Qurayza expressed their gratefulness to Nu'aym for 
his excellent advice. 

Nu'aym then vent to the leader of the Quraysh and 
after assuring them of his sincerity, told them that Bani 
Qurayza were unhappy on taking sides with them. They 
were thinking of demanding some of their nobles as 
hostages, by way of security, on the pretext that the 
promise made to them by the allies was not broken. He 
also said that the Bani Qurayza had actually sent word to 
Muhammad (peace be upon him) that they would hand 
over to him a few chiefs of the two tribes to prove their 
sincerity to him, so that he might cut off their heads. 
Nu'aym told the same story to the Ghatfan as well. The 
seeds of distrust thus sowed by Nu'aym between Bani 
Qurayza, on the one hand, and the Quraysh and the 
Ghatfan, on the other, made each cautious as well as 
suspicious of the other party. Abu Sufyan decided upon a 
general attack. When he tried to move the Jews to 
participate in the attack, they demanded hostages from the 
Quraysh and Ghatfan before pulling together with them. 
The stratagem of Nu'aym b. Mas'fid proved a complete 
success. The Quraysh and the Ghatfan were convinced that 
the news brought by Nu'aym was entirely correct, and 
they promptly turned down the demand of the Jews. Bani 
Qurayza, on their part, became dead sure that their allies 
were not sincere to them. The discouragement suffered by 
the allied forces smashed their unity and exhausted their 
patience. 


219 



Then, in a cold and cloudy night, a violent 
hurricane from the desert uprooted the tents of the nomads 
and overthrew their cooking pots. The severe weather, sent 
by Allah, disheartened the enemy. Calling his men, Abu 
Sufyan said to them, O Quraysh, it is no longer a fit place 
to camp here. Our horses have died, Bani Qurayza have 
not kept faith with us and we have heard dreadful tidings 
of them. You can see the havoc caused by the gale; we have 
neither a cooking pot at its place, nor can lit a fire, nor have 
a tent standing, nor yet a shelter to bank on. Get you gone, 
for 1 have decided to go." Abu Sufyan then got up abruptly 
and going to his camel which was hobbled, mounted it and 
beat, it, and he did not even free it from its hobble until it 
had stood up. 

When the Ghatfan learnt that the Quraysh had 
departed, they also vanished in the darkness of the desert. 

Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman, who had been sent by the 
Messenger to spy the movement of the enemy, returned 
with the news of the enemy's departure when the Prophet 
was offering prayers. He told the Messenger what he had 
seen.177 No trace of the enemy was left by the break of the 
dawn when the Messenger and the Muslims left their 
camp, not to the trench, but to their houses in Madina, 
where they laid aside their arms.i^® 

This was a miracle worked by the mercy of Allah, 
as the Qur'an says about it: 

"O you who believe ! Remember Allah's favour 
unto you when there came against you hosts, and We sent 


Muslim, Chap. Ghazwatul Azhab. 
178 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill pp. 214-21. 

220 



against them a great wind and hosts you could not see. 
And Allah is ever Seer of what you do.''^^^ 

"And Allah repulsed the disbelievers in their wrath 
they gained no good. Allah averted their attack from the 
believers. Allah is Strong, Mighty."i®o 

And then the billowy clouds which had coveted the 
heavens disappeared without any rainstorm or 
thunderbolt, leaving the sky of Madina clear as ever. The 
Messenger said to his Companions, "The Quraysh shall 
not come at you after this year, but you would attack them 
after that."i®i 

Seven Muslims laid their lives in the Battle of 
Trenches while four of the infidels were killed by the 
Muslims. 


179 Q.33:9. 

180 Q. 33:25. 

181 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 221. 


221 



ACTION AGAINST BANI QURAYZA 

Bani Qurayza's Breach o£ faith 

Not long after his arrival in Madina, the Prophet 
got a covenant made between Ansar and Muhajirin to 
which the Jews were also made a party and guaranteed 
protection of life and property as well as freedom of 
professing their faith. The covenant, which was committed 
to writing, accepted certain rights of the Jews and also put 
them under certain obligations. Some of the important 
clauses of this covenant were as follows: 

"Those among the Jews who side with us 
shall be liable to equality and help. Neither 
shall they be wronged nor shall their enemies 
be given any help. No polytheist of Madina 
shall afford protection to the property or life 
of any Qurayshite, nor shall he intervene 
against a believer on their behalf. The Jews 
shall bear the expenses of war, so long as the 
war lasts, like the believers. The Jews^^^ shall 
be considered as one community along with 
the believers — they shall have the freedom of 
their religion and the believers shall be free to 
follow their Faith. They shall have full 
freedom to deal with their allies and slaves 
and to settle their affairs." 


182 The covenant gives the names of various Jewish tribes of 
Madina like Bani Auf, Bani Sa'ida, Bani Jusham, Bani al-Aus and 
Bani Th'alaba who were made a party to the covenant. 

222 



The compact also made both the parties liable to 
help out another in the event of war, and, subject to the 
limits of divine injunctions, to promote mutual 
cooperation, goodwill and cordial relations between the 
confederates. One of its clauses provided that if Yathrib 
was attacked by an enemy, both the Jews and the Muslims 
shall join hands in its defense. 

But, in spite of these clear undertakings, Bani 
Qurayza were won over by Huyayy b. Akhtab 
al-Nadir to go back on their words in order to help the 
Quraysh. As a matter of fact, when Huyayy b. Akhtab had 
come to Bani Qurayza for winning them over to the allies 
against the Muslims, their chief K'ab b. Asad had replied, 
"1 have always found Muhammad (peace be upon him) 
truthful and trustworthy." However, K'ab b. Asad broke 
his word and absolved himself of every responsibility 
devolving upon him by the covenant. 

When the Messenger heard of the betrayal of Bani 
Qurayza, he deputed a few persons including S'ad b. 
Maud and S'ad b. Ubayda, the two chiefs of Aus and 
Khazraj, to see if the report was correct. What they found 
out was that the situation was even worse than they had 
heard. Bani Qurayza spoke disparagingly of the Messenger 
and said, "Who is the Messenger of Allah? We have no 
pact or pledge with Muhammad (peace be upon him)."i84 

Bani Qurayza then started making preparations for 
an armed conflict with the Muslims; they threatened to 
stab in the back and actually placed the Messenger and his 


183 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 503-4. 

184 Ibid., pp. 220-23. 


223 



followers between the hammer and the anvil.'iss Actually 
the situation would not have been so hazardous had the 
Jews declared their intention in the very beginning to fall 
out with the Muslims. The plight of the Muslims has been 
depicted picturesquely by the Qur'an : 

"When they came upon you from above you 
and front below you?"^®® 

It was but natural that the Muslims felt hurt by the 
perfidy of the Jews. How hard had it stricken the Muslims 
can be judged from the prayer sent up fervently by S'ad b. 
Mu'ad. The chief of Aus he had been in partnership with 
these Jews for many years and was, thus, their ally and 
sympathizer. When he was shot by an arrow which 
severed the vein of his arm, and he lost the hope of 
surviving for long, he supplicated to Allah, saying, "O 
Allah, do not let me die until 1 have set my eyes on the 
destruction of Bani Qurayza." 

Bani Qurayza Assailed 

The Prophet as well as the Muslims laid their arms 
aside on return from the Battle of Trenches. An account of 
what happened thereafter, as related by the Traditions, is 


Writing about the action of the Jews on this occasion, W. 
Montgomerry Watt writes in the Cambridge History of Islam: "The 
remaining large Jewish group in Madina, the clan of Qurayza, had been 
overtly correct in its behaviour during the siege, but had almost 
certainly been in contact with the enemy, and would have attacked 
Muhammad (SAW) in the rear had there been an opportunity." (Vol. 1, 
p. 49). 


1“ Q. 33:10. 


224 



that Gabriel came to the Prophet and asked, "O Messenger 
of Allah, have you put aside your arms?" When the 
Messenger replied that he had, Gabriel said, "But the 
angels have not put away their arms. "Allah commands 
you", continued Gabriel, "to march on Bani Qurayza. 1 am 
also to go-there to flutter them." Thereupon the Prophet 
got an announcement made that every one who listened 
and followed him ought to perform the 'asr prayer at Bani 
Qurayza.' 

The Prophet besieged the district inhabited by the 
Jewish clan of Bani Qurayza. The beleaguered Jews defied 
the siege for twenty-five days after which they gave in and 
offered to surrender. Allah cast terror into their hearts.is® 

Truth in Action 

Bani Qurayza submitted to the Messenger's 
judgment but the people of Aus who had been long 
friendly with the Jews had a soft corner in their hearts for 
them. They said to the Messenger, "O Messenger of Allah, 
they are our allies against Khazraj and you very well know 
what they have done jointly with Bani Qaynuqa, the allies 
of our brothers." The Messenger listened to them patiently 
and then asked, "Would you agree to place the decision in 
the hands of an arbitrator from amongst you?" They 
agreed and the role was entrusted to their chief, S'ad b. 
Mu'ad. 

When S'ad arrived, his, clansmen begged him to be 
lenient to Bani Qurayza; for, they insisted, the Messenger 

187 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 233-34. For a detailed version see 
Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad was Siyar. 

188 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 235. 


225 



had made him umpire so that he might be considerate to 
his allies. When they persisted on their demand. S'ad h. 
Mu'ad replied, "Fate has brought this opportunity to S'ad; 
let him not be ashamed aught in fulfilling the 
commandment of Allah." Then, S'ad gave his decision: "1 
decide that the men should be killed, the property divided, 
and the women and children taken as captives." The 
Prophet, on hearing the award of S'ad, remarked: 

"You have awarded them Allah's decision."i89 

"When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against 
it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make 
you answer of peace, and open unto you, then it shall be, 
that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries 
unto you, and they shall serve you. And if it will make no 
peace with you, but will make war against you, then thou 
shalt besiege it; and when the Lord thy Allah has delivered 
it into thine hands, thou shalt Smite every male thereof 
with the edge of the sword; but the women, and the little 
ones, and the cattle and all that is in the city, even all the 
spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt 

eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the_thy Allah has 

given you."i5° 

Benevolence and Large-heartedness 

The Messenger sent some cavaliers to Najd on an 
expedition who captured Thumama b. Uthal, the chieftain 


Ibid., pp. 239-10. The words of the Prophet quoted in the 
Muslim are: "You have awaited them the Allah's decision" or the 
Prophet said, "The King's decision." (Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad 
was-Siyar). 

Deut, 20:10-14. 


226 



of Bani Hanifa. When the cavaliers returned to Madina 
they tied him to a stump in the Prophet's Mosque. Allah's 
Messenger came our to him and asked, "What do you 
expect, Thumama?" He replied, "If you kill me, 
Muhammad (peace be upon him), you will kill one whose 
blood will be avenged; if you show me favour, you will 
show it to one who is grateful; and if you want property, 
you will be given as much as you wish." The Messenger 
left him and when he passed next time by him he asked 
him the same question. Thumama repeated his earlier 
reply and the Messenger left him again. When the Prophet 
passed by him for the third time, he ordered Thumama to 
be set free. 

Thumama went away to a grove of palm-dates and 
returned to the Prophet after taking a bath. He accepted 
Islam and said to the Messenger, "1 swear to Allah, 
Muhammad (peace be upon him) that there was no face on 
the face of the earth more detested by me than your's, but 
now your face is the dearest of all to me. And, 1 swear to 
Allah that that there was no religion more hateful to me 
than your's in the entire world, hut it is now the dearest of 
all to me. What happened to me is that your cavalry seized 
me when 1 was going to perform 'Umrah." The Messenger 
congratulated him and bade him perform the 'Umrah. 

When Thamama came to Makkah, some one asked 
him if he had turned a disbeliever. He replied, "No, by 
Allah, 1 have adopted faith on the hands of the Messenger 
of Allah. 1 swear to Allah that not a grain of corn will reach 
you from al-Yamamah until Allah's Messenger accords 
permission to it." 


227 



Al-Yamamah was the chief market of food grains in 
Arabia from where the Makkans used to import their 
requirements. When Thumama went back to al-Yamarnah 
he prevented the caravans to carry wheat to Makkah. The 
people of Makkah were so hard pressed by the ban 
imposed by Thumama that the wrote to the Messenger 
requesting him to get the ban lifted. The kindhearted 
Messenger asked Thumama to allow the supplies of food 
grains to Makkah.i^i 

Expedition of B. Al-Mustaliq and incident of Ifk 

After some time the Messenger led an expedition 
against Bani Libyan and went up to the hills of Dhii Qarad 
in pursuit of some raiders, but there was no fighting. In 
Sh'aban, 6 A. H., the Messenger was informed that Bani al- 
Mustaliq were thronging for an attack on him. The 
Messenger went out with a force to face the enemy. A large 
party of the hypocrites, still skeptical and reticent, 
accompanied the Messenger with their leader Abdullah b. 
Uhayy b. Saliil. The hypocrites had never before gone out 
with the Messenger in such large numbers in any earlier 

expedition.192 

The failure of the Quraysh in the battle of Trenches 
when hey had mustered all the warriors of their 
confederate clans for he destruction of Islam, had made the 
hypocrites bitter and sour, burning with the jaundice of 
their souls. The Muslims were gaining victory after victory, 
and this had sent the Quraysh, the Jews and their fellow 


Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. 1, p. 377, Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad was-Siyar. 
Ibn S'ad, Kitab ul Tabaqat al-Kabirat, Vol. II, part I, p. 45. 

228 



travelers among the pagans and hypocrites on the 
tenterhooks. They knew that the Muslims could not be 
humbled in an open combat by their enemies and hence 
the only way to checkmate them was through sowing 
dissension in their ranks and pitting them against one 
another. They also knew that the means they could put 
into requisition for undermining the confidence of the 
Muslims in Islam and its Messenger as well as creating a 
rift between them were disparagement of the holy Prophet 
and arousing pre-lslamic sentiments of tribal pride. With 
this in view, the hypocrites started a furtive campaign of 
casting reflections upon the honour of the Prophet. An 
entirely new hope of society had, however, been brought 
inexistence at Madina, whose members loved and 
respected every other man bound by the common ideal. 
These pretenders had, therefore, arrived at the conclusion 
that nothing could sap the foundations this ideological 
fraternity more effectively than a slanderous campaign 
aimed at creating misgivings about the leader of that 
gender and his family. Undoubtedly, this was a well- 
devised inspiracy of the hypocrites which was vigorously 
pursued during expedition of Bani al-Mustaliq, when, for 
the first time, as created earlier, a large number of them 
accompanied the Messenger. The Messenger met the 
enemy at a watering place of Bani Mustaliq, in the 
direction of Qudayd towards the shore, down as al- 
Muraysi, where the battle brought Bani at-Mustaliq 
defeat and flight. 


The expedition is therefore also called as the expedition of 
Murays'i. See Tabaqat Ibn S'ad. 


229 



While the Prophet was still at this place, a hired 
servant of Bani Ghifar, belonging to the Muhajirin got into 
a row with another man, belonging to the tribe of Juhinah, 
which was an ally of al-Khazraj. The Juhini called out, "O 
you Ansar!" and the hired servant shouted, "O you 
Muhajirin." Abdullah b. Ubayy h. Saliil at once flared up 
and said to his friends who happened to be present with 
him, "Did they dare it? They set themselves against us in 
our own country and tried to outnumber us. By Allah, it is 
just the same as the ancient saying: Feed the dog and it will 
bite you. 1 swear by Allah that when we return o Madina 
those who are worthy and noble will drive out the 
unworthy wretches." Then, admonishing his men, 
'Abdullah continued, "You have yourselves wrought it. 
You allowed them to settle in your country and shared 
your property with them. By Allah, had you held, back 
and not been so generous, they would have certainly gone 
elsewhere." 

The Messenger came to know about the incident 
and he at once gave orders to break the camp and set off, 
although he was not accustomed to travel at that 
disagreeable hour. The Messenger wanted the people to 
get no time for the vain disputation and promptings of the 
devil. The Messenger continued to move all that day, and 
through the night till dawn and during the following day 
till the sun became annoying. He made a halt when the 
people had become so tired that they fell asleep as soon as 
their backs touched the ground. 

'Abdullah was the worthy son of the unworthy 
'Abdullah b. Ubbay. He rushed to Madina ahead of the 
troops and awaited his father's arrival. When 'Abdullah b. 

230 



Ubbay came, his son knelt his camel obstructing the 
passage of his father whom he told that he would not 
allow him to enter Madina until he had acknowledged that 
he was the unworthy wretch while the Messenger was 
worthy and noble. In the meanwhile the Messenger also 
came up. He said to 'Abdullah. "Nay, let us deal kindly 
with him while he is with us." 

The Messenger used to cast lots, whenever he 
intended to go on an expedition, to decide which one of his 
wives should accompany him. In the expedition of Bani al- 
Mustaliq the lot had fallen on 'Aisha and she had 
accordingly accompanied the Prophet. At one of the halts 
on the way hack to Madina, the Messenger spent a part of 
the night before he ordered to break the camp. 'Aisha had 
gone to relieve the needs of nature, and when she came 
back she discovered that she had dropped her necklace. 
She went back to make a search for it, but by the time she 
returned the army had moved off. The camel drivers who 
had the charge of Aisha's transport, saddled her litter 
thinking that she would be in it as usual. Now, 'Aisha was 
small and very light, so- none could notice if she was in the 
litter or not. When 'Aisha came back she found no trace of 
the army. She wrapped herself in her smock and lay down 
in the hope that as soon as they would discover the 
mistake some one would come to fetch her. 

Safwan b. al-Mu'attal al-Salami had earlier fallen 
behind the army for a purpose. He happened to pass by 
'Aisha. He saw her. "Inna Lillah", he called out, "The 
Messenger's wife !" Then he brought his camel near her 

Tabaqat Ibn S'ad, Vol. II, p. 46. 

231 



and turned back a few paces. After 'Aisha had rode the 
dromedary, Safwan took hold of the camel's halter and 
went ahead quickly in search of the army. Safwan overtook 
the army when it had again halted. Nobody took any 
notice of the incident, for such mishaps were not unusual 
in the caravans trekking the vast emptiness of the Arabian 
wilderness. To the wayfaring Arabs it was just a familiar 
happening and their code of honour, even in the days of 
pagan past, never tolerated the disgrace of their daughters. 
The Arabs, both as pagans as well as after embracing 
Islam, were chivalrous enough to lay down their lives 
defending the honour of their women rather than to 
countenance any disgrace. 

A poet of pre-lslamic days expresses the Arab 
sentiment of chastity and virtuousness in a couplet which 
depicts a lovely picture of Arab womanhood.i®^ 


An illustration of the Arabs' conduct towards women is 
provided by the incident relating to the migration of Umm 
Salma. When she was not allowed to migrate to Madina with her 
husband, she used to go every morning and sit in the valley 
weeping till the night fall. So it continued until a year or so had 
passed when her claim took pity on her and allowed her to join 
her husband. She saddled her came and set forth for Madina. 
'Uthman b. Talha met her in the way and on coming to know her 
plight decided to escort her to Madina. He took hold of her 
camel's halter and went with her to Madina. (Umm Salma says 
that she never met an Arab nobler than 'Uthman. When she had 
to halt, 'Uthman used to kneel her camel and then withdrew. 
After she had alighted, he unloaded the camel and tied it to a 
tree. This, 'Uthman did all the way to Madina. (Ibn Kathir, Vol. 
II, pp. 215-17). This was the conduct of 'Uthman when he had 
not accepted Islam. Safwan b. al-Mu'attal al-Salami was a 

232 



If my glance meets the looks of a neighbouring 
maiden, I cast my eyes low until her abode takes her ind®'^ 

The Companions held the Messenger in the same 
esteem and reverence as one has for one's father while the 
wives of the Messenger were all 'mothers of the faithful' to 
every Muslim. In fact, never have any people loved anyone 
more than the Prophet was loved by his Companions. 
Safwan b. al-Mu'attal was, as they say, a man of sterling 
qualities, noble, true souled and Allah fearing who had the 
reputation of being least interested in women. 

In short, nobody paid any attention to the incident 
and the matter would have been forgotten had not 
'Abdullah b. Ubbay walked into the picture. On coming 
back to Madina; 'Abdullah b. Ubbay went to work to 
capitalize on the incident. He had found out, as he would 
have thought, something which could be utilised by him to 
slander the Messenger and his household and thus weaken 
the sentiments of love and admiration the Muslims had for 
the Prophet. His treacherous disposition was not slow to 
realise that his shameless attack on the Messenger's 
honour would create enough misgivings to destroy the 
mutual trust among the Muslims as well. A few 
injudicious Muslims, who were used to ramble on without 
making sure about the matter they talked about, were also 
taken in by the crafty conspirator. 

'Aisha had no idea of the vilification against her. As 
it normally happens in such cases, she came to know of it 


righteous man of upright character who had already accepted 
Islam and had had the benefit of the Prophet's guidance. 

Diwan al-Hamasa. 


233 




very late, and when she did know, she was bewildered. 
Plunged into sorrow, her anguish brought her to tears and 
she kept on sobbing with overflowing eyes. 

The scandal was even more distressing to the 
Messenger of Allah. When he had made sure who was at 
the bottom of this intrigue, he came to the mosque and 
ascending the pulpit he said, "O you believers, who would 
allow me to say something about the man, who, 1 have 
come to know, has caused trouble to my family. What 1 
know of my family is naught but good and what they say 
concerning a man, 1 have known only good about him. 
Whenever he enters my house, he enters with me." 

The people of Aus were filled with indignation at 
the unhappiness of the Prophet. They said, "We are 
prepared to behead the man, whether he belongs to Aus or 
Khazraj, who has given tongue to this calumny." 
'Abdullah b. Ubbay belonged to Khazraj, and hence his 
tribesmen took the remark as an affront to their tribal 
honour. Feelings ran high, and the two tribes were about 
to grapple with one another, but the presence of the 
Messenger calmed them down and the matter ended there. 

'Aisha was convinced of her innocence. She was 
distressed, but was also confident and composed like one 
who knows that truth ultimately prevails. She knew in her 
heart that Allah would ultimately protect her honour and 
bring shame to the lying slanderers but it had never 
crossed her mind that Allah would send down a revelation 
concerning her which would be read in the mosques and 
prayers to the end of time. She had not to wait for long 
when the verses attesting her innocence were sent down 
by Allah. 


234 



"Lo! they who spread the slander are a gang among 
you. Deem it not a bad thing for you: nay, it is good for 
you. Unto every man of them (will be paid) that which he 
has earned of the sin and for him among them who had the 
greater share therein, his will be an awful doom. 

"Why did not the believers, men and women, when 
you heard it, think good of their own folk, and say: It is a 
manifest untruth?"!^^ 

And thus ended the frightful menace which was 
forgotten completely by the Muslims of Madina when they 
devoted themselves again to the great task on which 
depended not only their own success, but the salvation of 
entire humanity. 


197 Q. 24:11-12. 

198 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 289-302 and Bukhari. 

235 



THE TRUCE OF HUDAYBIA 

Vision o£ the Prophet 

The Messenger had a vision that he had entered 
Makkah and circumambulated the sacred House of Allah. 
It was a true dream from on High, as it later came out, 
although the period, month or year of the pilgrimage had 
not been indicated in the vision.^^? The Companions of the 
Prophet were overjoyed when the Prophet told them about 
the vision. Everybody esteemed and revered Makkah and 
the holy sanctuary there. The opportunity of paying a visit 
to it had been denied to them for a long time but nobody 
had ceased to think of the holy city. They had been pining 
for going on a pilgrimage to Makkah all those years and 
were looking forward to the day when their hearts' desire 
would be fulfilled. The Muhajirin were especially 
consumed with the desire since Makkah had been their 
birthplace; they had grown up to manhood in that city but 
had been forced to abandon it. As soon as the Messenger 
informed the Companions of the vision, all of them started 
making preparations for the journey while their over¬ 
enthusiasm at the prospect of realizing the ambition of 
their life convinced them that they were going to call upon 
the House of Allah that very year. Almost all of them 
promptly accompany the Messenger for there was hardly 
one who wanted to be left behind. 


See the Commentary on Surah Path, Verse 27 by Ibn Kathir. 

236 



Trip to Makkah 

It was the month of Dhii al-Q'adah, in the sixth 
year of hijrah, when the Messenger set out for Makkah 
with the intention of performing 'Umrah, or the lesser 
pilgrimage. The Messenger had no intention of performing 
the haj, however. Making a detour through gullies of the 
hills he came near Makkah and encamped at al-Hudaybia. 
He had with him fourteen hundred Companions, in the 
garb of pilgrims, along with the sacrificial animals so that 
everybody would know that he was going not for war but 
for paying a visit to the K'aba.' 200 

The Messenger sent ahead a mail of Khuza'a to find 
out the reaction of the Quraysh. When the Messenger 
reached Usfan,2oi the informer came back to report to him 
that the tribesmen of K'ab b. Luayy had assembled a 
strong force of nomad warriors to check his advance to 
Makkah. The Prophet, however, continued to drive ahead 
but when he reached the place where the valley of Makkah 
slopes down, his dromedary called Qaswa, knelt down 
and would not get up. The men around the Messenger 
started babbling, "Qaswa won't, get up, Qaswa Won't get 
up!" But the Messenger said, "Qaswa has not refused for 
such is not her nature. The One who restrained the 
elephants 202 is keeping her back. I swear by Him Who 
holds my life that if they propose anything to me which 
reckons with the regard due to Allah and ask me to show 
kindness, I will certainly accede to their request." The 

200 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 380, Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 308. 

201 A village between Makkah and Madina. 

202 The reference is to the elephants Abraha had brought for 
attack on Makkah. 


237 



Messenger then rebuked the camel which at once sprang 
up on her legs, but changed her direction and started off 
towards Hudaybia. She came to a halt in an expanse at the 
end of which there was a ditch which had but little water. 
Certain persons complained to the Messenger that they 
were thirsty. He took out an arrow from his quiver and 
asked them to throw it in the ditch. Thereupon water 
started gushing forth and everyone was satisfied with 

drinking.203 

Irritation of the Quraysh 

The Quraysh were in a dither when they learnt that 
the Messenger had pitched his camp so near Makkah. But 
as the Prophet 'had no intention of fighting the 
Qurayshites, h. thought it fit to send one of his 
Companions to remove their apprehensions. He sent for 
'Umar to depute him to Makkah, but 'Umar said, "O 
Messenger of Allah, there is none of Bani 'Adiy b. K'ab in 
Makkah who may protect me in case the Quraysh decide 
to lay hands on me." 'Umar also suggested that 'Uthman 
might be sent as his entire clan was there and he could 
very well deliver the message. 'Uthman was then 
summoned by the Messenger and sent to the Quraysh to 
tell them that he had not come for war but merely for 
performing the 'Umrah. The Prophet also asked 'Uthman 
to invite the Quraysh to Islam, and to cheer the believing 
men and women still in Makkah with the glad tidings that 


203 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 381. 

238 



Allah was about to make their religion victorious when 
they 'shall not he required to conceal their faith.' 204 


Love put to Trial 

'Uthman went to Makkah and delivered the 
message of the Messenger to Abu Sufyan and other leaders 
of the Quraysh. After the Makkans had heard the message 
brought by 'Uthman they said, "If you want to go round 
the holy sanctuary, you may do so." 'Uthman, however, 
replied, "1 won't do until the Messenger has gone round 
the K'aba." 205 After his return from Makkah certain 
Muslims said to him, "Abu 'Abdullah, you have been 
fortunate enough to fulfill your heart's desire by going 
round the K'aba." "Don't be unfair to me," replied 
'Uthman. "1 declare by Him Who holds my life that if 1 
were detained there for a whole year and the Prophet were 
to remain in Hudaybia, 1 would not have gone round the 
K'aba until the Prophet had done so. Of a fact, the Quraysh 
did invite me to circumambulate the House of Allah, but 1 
declined."206 


The Pledge of Rizwan 

The Messenger was informed that 'Uthman had 
been killed. He summoned the people to take an oath to 
avenge 'Uthman's death. Everybody gathered round the 
Messenger impatiently. Standing under the shade of a tree, 
the Messenger took the oath one by one from the fourteen 
hundred standing round him; not one failed to take the 


204 Ibid. 

205 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 315. 

206 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 382. 

239 



oath and at last the Messenger struck one of his hands on 
the other saying, "This is the pledge on behalf of 
'Uthman."207 Thus was the pledge of Rizwan taken under 
an acacia which finds a mention in the Qur'an. 

"Allah was well pleased with the believers 
when they swore allegiance unto you beneath 
the tree, and He knew what was in their 
hearts, and He sent down peace of 
reassurance on them, and bath rewarded 
them with a near victory, 

Parleys, Conciliation and Accord 

The deadlock still lingered on when Budayl b. 
Warqa' of the tribe of Khuza'a suddenly appeared with a 
few of his clansmen to straighten out the impasse. He 
asked the Messenger, "What have you come for ?" 

"We have come to perform the 'Umrah", replied 
the Messenger, "The Quraysh are already wrecked by war. 
If they agree 1 will make peace with them for a specified 
period and they should give passage to me and my 
Companions; if they want they may league with the group 
others have joined and this would give them a respite: but 
if nothing is acceptable to them except war, then by Him 
Who holds my life, 1 would fight them until 1 lose my head 
or Allah makes His religion victorious." 

Budayl b. Warqa' communicated to the Quraysh 
what he had heard from the Messenger of Allah. 'Urwa b. 
Mas'iid-al-Thaqafi, who happened to be present on the 


207 Ibid. 

208 Q. 48:18. 


240 



occasion, advised the Quraysh that they ought to accept 
the terms proposed by the Messenger for they were 
absolutely reasonable. He also suggested that he might 
himself see the Prophet to which the Quraysh agreed. 
'Urwa went to the Prophet to discuss the matter with him 
but he also kept his eyes open to watch the behaviour of 
the Companions towards the Messenger. He saw that if the 
Messenger spat, his Companions ran to get it on their 
hands and rubbed it on their faces. If he asked for 
anything, they vied for complying with his orders; if he 
performed ablution, they struggled to get the water he had 
used and if he spoke, everybody listened with rapt 
attention. Nobody dared even to look straight into his 
eyes. When 'Urwa went back to the Quraysh, he said, "1 
have been to the courts of the kings and have seen the 
splender of the Caesar and the Chosroes and the Negus, 
but never have 1 seen any king being so revered as 
Muhammad (peace be upon him), by his Companions. "209 
He gave the details of his talk with the Messenger and 
again advised the Quraysh to accept the terms offered to 
them. 

The Treaty of Peace 

In the meantime another man of Bani Kinana, 
Mikraz b. Hafs, arrived in Makkah. He confirmed what the 
earlier emissaries had told the Quraysh and so they 
decided to send Suhayl b. 'Amr to negotiate the terms of 
treaty. As soon as the Messenger saw him coming, he said, 
"That they have sent this man, it seems they want peace." 


209 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 382. 

241 



The Messenger also asked to prepare a draft of the 
agreement. 210 

Exemplary Moderation and Prudence 

The Messenger summoned 'All and told him to 
write: "In the name of Allah, Rahman 'the Beneficent', 
Rahim 'the Merciful." Suhayl protested, "1 do not 
recognise Rahman, but write as the custom goes." The 
Prophet then directed 'Ali, "Write.: In Thy name, 
O Allah." Certain Muslims demurred, "No, we must write: 
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful." But the 
Prophet said again, "Let it be: In Thy name, O Allah." 

Then the Messenger asked 'Ali to write: "This is 
what Muhammad (peace be upon him) the Messenger of 
Allah has decided." Suhayl again objected, "1 swear by 
Allah, if we had witnessed that you were Allah's 
messenger, we would not have turned you away from the 
House of Allah nor fought with you; you should write: 
Muhammad (SAW) b. 'Abdullah." 

"1 am Allah's Messenger even if you disbelieve 
me", replied the Prophet; but asked 'Ali to rub out what he 
had written earlier. "By Allah, 1 cannot do it", replied 'Ali. 

The Messenger, however, asked 'Ali to point out 
the place to be rubbed out. 'Ali pointed it out to the 
Messenger and he expunged it by himself. 

Treaty or Trial 

The Messenger started dictating the clause: "The 
agreement is made that the Quraysh shall not obstruct the 

210 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 316; Bukhari. 

211 Muslim, Kitab-uI-Jihad-was-Siyar, Chap. Sulah Hudaybia. 

242 



passage of Muslims to the House of Allah and shall allow 
them to perambulate it." Suhayl again raised an objection; 
"1 fear the Arabs would say that we have been pliant to 
you in making this agreement. You can perambulate K'aba 
next year." The Prophet agreed to include the clause in the 
agreement. Suhayl now was bold to say, "If one of us goes 
over to you, he shall be returned to us even if he professes 
your religion." The Muslims jumped up saying, "What! 
How can we return a man who seeks our shelter as a 
Muslim?" 

The contention was still going on when Abu Jandal 
b. Suhayl appeared in chains. He had escaped from 
Makkah and had come to the Messenger struggling in 
fetters by a rugged, rocky track between the passes. Suhayl 
lost no time to assert, "Muhammad (peace be upon him), 
this is the first man 1 demand from you under the Treaty." 

The Messenger replied, "But the Treaty is still being 
written and has not become final." 

Suhayl was excited. He cried in a huff, "If it is so, 
then I am not prepared to make any agreement with you." 

The Messenger said again, "Let him go for my 

sake." 

But Suhayl refused. He said, "I will not allow him 
to go even for your sake." 

Now, the Messenger replied, "Then do as you 
please." Suhayl was still foaming at the mouth. He 
retorted, "I have nothing to do." 

Grieved to hear it, Abu Jandal said plaintively, "I 
have come as a Muslim to you, and I am being returned 
again to the polytheists. Do you not see what they are 


243 



doing to me?" Abu Jundal had been put to severe torture 
for the sake of his faith.' 212 

The Messenger returned Abu Jandal as demanded 
by his father. 

The Treaty concluded between the Muslims and 
the Quraysh provided that both the parties would observe 
a ten-year truce so that men might live in peace and that 
no party would lift its hand against the other during the 
period. Another condition of the Treaty was that if anyone 
from the Quraysh came over to the Messenger without 
obtaining the permission of his guardian he would be 
returned to them, but if anyone of those with the 
Messenger escaped to the Quraysh, they would not be 
bound to return him. Yet another provision stipulated that 
anyone who wished to enter into a bond and security with 
the Messenger, he would be permitted to do so, and, 
likewise, anybody could come to a similar agreement with 
the Quraysh.213 

Faith put to Trial 

The terms of agreement and the obligation to 
return, without performing 'Umrah, plunged the Muslims 
into the most profound depression. It seemed incredible to 
them how the Messenger of Allah had agreed to those 
seemingly ignominious terms. So dismayed were they that 
'Umar went as far as to speak his mind. He stepped up to 
Abu Bakr and asked him, "Had the Messenger not told us 
that we would visit the house of Allah and go round it?" 
"Yes", replied Abu-Bakr, looking calmly at the angry face 


212 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 383; Bukhari, Bab as-Shurut fil Jihad. 
Ibn Hisham, Vol II. pp. 317-18 . 


244 



of his friend, "but did he tell you that you would go to the 
House of Allah and perambulate it this very year?"2i4 

Having concluded the treaty, the Messenger 
sacrificed the animals and got his head shaved. The 
Muslims sat with a long face for they were feeling beaten 
and crushed at not being able to visit Makkah and 
circumambulate the K'aba, but when they saw the Prophet 
performing the rites, they rushed to follow him in 
sacrificing the animals and shaving their heads.^is 

Ignominious Peace or Signal Victory 

The Messenger then broke camp to return to 
Madina. He was still in the way when Allah confirmed 
that the truce of al-Hudaybia was not a set-back but a 
signal victory instead. 

"Lo! We have given you (O Muhammad) a signal 
victory, 

"That Allah may forgive you of thy sin that which 
is past and that which is to come, and' may perfect His 
favour unto you, and may guide you on a right path, 

"And that Allah may help you with strong help."2i6 

'Umar asked the Prophet, "Is it a victory, O 
Messenger of Allah ?" The Messenger replied, "Yes." 2 i 2 

Failure or Success 

Not long after the Messenger had arrived in 
Madina, Abu Basir 'Utba b. Usaid broke away from the 
Quraysh and escaped to him. He was followed by two 


214 Bukhari, Bab as-Shurut fil Jihad wal Masaleh. 

215 Zad al-Madad, Vol. I, p. 383. 

216 Q. 48:1-3. 

212 Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad, Treaty of Hudaybia. 

245 



emissaries of the Quraysh to bring him back. They 
reminded the Messenger of the undertaking given by him 
and he promptly handed over Abu Basir to them. 
However, on his way back to Makkah, Abu Basir got clear 
of his guards and fled to the sea coast. Later on, Abu 
Jandal and some seventy Muslims persecuted by the 
Makkans also made good their escape and joined Abu 
Basir at the sea shore where they established themselves 
on the road taken by the Quraysh for their commerce with 
Syria. The band of Abu Basir 'Utba now sought out the 
caravans of the Quraysh, robbed their property and spread 
fear and terror by killing any Qurayshite that came into its 
power. Once again the trade of Makkah was endangered. 
The things got so bad that the Quraysh wrote to the 
Messenger, begging him by the ties of their kinship to him, 
to recall these highwaymen to Madina and undertook to 
demand no more of those who escaped to him in future.^is 

The Treaty turns to Victory 

The events that followed proved that the truce of 
Hudaybia was a decisive step in gaining victory after 
victory for Islam. The trader-statesmen of Makkah had 
gloated over their success in extracting undue concessions 
from the Messenger. The Muslims, on their part, had been 
led to accept the seemingly inglorious terms of the treaty 
simply because of their strong faith in the Messenger. Both 
the parties very soon found Islam making rapid strides in 
the Arabian Peninsula. It opened the door to the 
occupation of Makkah and, before long, it became possible 
to send deputations for inviting the Caesar and the 


218 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 384. 

246 



Chosroes and the Negus to accept Islam. The revelation of 
Allah had come true. 

"Though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen 
that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may 
happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allah 
knows, you know not."^!® 

The attitude of peace and amicableness displayed 
by the Messenger on this occasion, which also 
demonstrated his exemplary patience and moderation, did 
not fail to impress the tribes which joined their faith to 
Islam. They were led to hold a high opinion of Islam and to 
love and revere it, which, by itself, created a wholesome 
atmosphere for its rapid expansion without any conscious 
effort on the part of the Prophet or the Muslims. 

Khalid b. Walid and 'Amr b. al-'As 

The treaty of Hudaybia also won the hearts. Khalid 
b. Walid was the promising general of the Qurayshite 
army who handled sword and lance with, the same 
dexterity as he did the troops. Soon after the truce had 
been signed at Hudaybia he accepted Islam and was 
conferred the title of the 'Sword of Allah' by the 
Messenger. Khalid proved himself worthy of the title as 
the conqueror of Syria. 

'Amr b. al-'As was another dashing commander 
who subsequently made a name as the conqueror of Egypt. 
He, too, accepted Islam along with Khalid b. Walid and 
both of them called upon the Messenger at Madina shortly 
after the treaty of Hudaybia .220 


219 Q. 2:216. 

220 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 277-78. 

247 



LETTERS TO MONARCHS 


The peaceful conditions following the Treaty, naturally 
gave a fillip to the missionary activities which kept on 
advancing day-by-day. Islam grew like an avalanche and 
showed the signs of assuming vast proportions. The 
Messenger then sent several letters to the sovereigns 
outside Arabia and the tribal chiefs22i within the country 
inviting them to accept Islam. The letters were not only 
couched judiciously by the Messenger but he also took care 
to select the envoys to different kings keeping in view the 
station and dignity of the different potentates. The envoys 
were conversant with the languages spoken as well as with 
political conditions of the countries to which they were 

deputed.222 


letters were sent, as Waqidi says, in the month of Zil Hijja, 6. 
A.H., which coincides with 627 C.E.. One of these letters was sent to 
Chosroes Pervez, the Emperor of Iran, who was killed in March 628 A. 
D. The letter to Heraclius would have also been sent in 627 A. D. but 
he set out on a tour to Armenia during 628 A. D. Heraclius should 
have, thus, received the letter on his return from Armenia when he 
went forth to the pilgrimage of Palestine. (See Alfred J. Butler, The 
Arab Conquers of Egypt, p. 140). 

222 According to Ibn S'ad (Tabaqat, Vol. II, p. 2) and Siyuu (Al- 
Khasa'is al-Kubra, Vol. II, p. 11), the Messenger's ambassadors 
received the miraculous gift of languages and were able to speak 
in the language of the country to which they were sent. While a 
miracle similar to that conferred on the disciples of Jesus on the 
Day of Pentecost cannot be ruled out, for, the Prophet of Islam 
worked many an astounding miracle mentioned by his earliest 
biographers, but it appears more reasonable to expect that the 
Prophet had selected envoys who could speak those languages. 

248 



When the Messenger expressed the desire to send 
letters to the kings of the Arabs and non-Arabs, the 
Companions advised him to affix his seal on the letters for 
the unsealed letters were not recognised by the kings. The 
Messenger accordingly got struck a silver seal on which 
was engraved: "Muhammad (SAW) the Messenger of 
Allah. 223 

Letters of the Prophet 

Of the many letters sent by the Messenger, those 
written to Heraclius, the Emperor of Byzantine Empire, 
Chosroes 11, the Emperor of Iran, Negus, the king of 
Abyssinia and Muqauqis, the ruler of Egypt, are 
remarkably significant. 

Dihya b. Khalifa al-Kalbi, who was assigned to take 
the letter to Heradlius, got it forwarded to the Emperor 
through the ruler of Busra. The Messenger wrote in this 

letter224; 

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 
This letter is from Muhammad, the slave and Messenger of 


The envoys were sent only to four foreign countries — 
Byzantium, Egypt, Iran and Abyssinia which bad very close 
trade relations with Arabia. The Arabs fitted out caravans to 
these lands and we also find the nationals of these countries 
visiting Arabia or even settled down there. It was, therefore, not 
at all difficult for the Prophet to select such men who could 
already speak the languages of these countries. The embassies to 
Arab chiefs should, however, have presented no difficulty since 
all of them spoke Arabic. 

223 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Jihad and Shama'il Tirmidhi. 

224 The original letter of the Prophet to Heraclius was in Spain for 
long centuries and it has reappeared now (Muhammad (SAW) 
Hamidullah, Muhammad (SAW) Rasulullah, p. 211). 

249 




Allah, to Heraclius, the great King of Rome. Blessed are 
those who follow the guidance. 

"After this, verily 1 call you to Islam. Embrace Islam 
that you may find peace, and Allah will give you a double 
reward. If you reject, then on you shall rest the sin of your 
subjects and followers.225 O People of the Book, come to 
that which is common between us and you; that we will 
serve none but Allah, nor associate aught with Him, nor 
take others for Lords besides Allah. But if you turn away, 
then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims .226 

The letter sent to the Chosroes 11 read: 

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 
From Muhammad; the Messenger of Allah, to Kisra, the 
great King of Persia. 

"Peace be upon whom who follows the guidance, 
believes in Allah and His Messenger, bear witness that 
there is no Allah but Allah and that 1 am the Messenger of 
Allah for the entire humanity is that every man alive is 
warned of the awe of Allah. Embrace Islam that you may 
find peace; otherwise on you shall rest the sin of the 

Magis.227 

In the letter 228 addressed to Negus, the Prophet had 
written that: 


Arabic word used by the Prophet' was araisiyan or arisen 
variously translated by latter biographers, which has been discussed 
later on in this chapter. 

226 Bukhari, Chap. How the Revelation to the Prophet Began. 

227 Al-Tabari, Vol. Ill, p. 90. 

228 The original letter exists at Damascus (Muhammad Hamidullah, 
Muhammad (SAW) Rasulullah, p. 216). 


250 



“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, in Negus, the 
great King of Abyssinia. 

"Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. 

"After this. Glory be to Allah besides Whom there 
is no god, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Peace, the faithful, 
the Protector. I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is 
the Spirit of Allah, and His Word which He east unto 
Mary, the Virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived 
Jesus. 

Allah created him from His Spirit and His 
breathing as He created Adam by His hand and His 
breathing. I call you to Allah, the Unique, without any 
associate, and to His obedience and to follow me and to 
believe in that which came to me, for I am the Mesenger of 
Allah. I invite you and your men to the Great Lord. I have 
accomplished my task and my admonitions, so receive my 
advice. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance.229 

The letter 230 sent to Muqauqis, the Chief of the 
Copts Egypt, said: 

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Muqauqis, 
the Chief of the Copts. 

"Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. 

"After this, I call you to Islam that you may find 
peace, and Allah will give you a double reward. If you 
reject, then on you shall be the sin of your countrymen. O 

229 Tabaqat Ibn S'ad, Vol. Ill, p. 15. 

230 phg original letter of the Prophet to Muquaqis is exhibited in 
the Topkapi Museum at Istanbul (Muhammad (SAW) 
Hamidullah, Muhammad (SAW) Rasulullah, p. 216. 

251 



People of the Book come to that which is common between 
us and you; that We will serve none but Allah, nor 
associate aught with Him, nor take others for. lords besides 
Allah. But if you turn away, then say: Bear witness that we 
are Muslims"23i 


Reaction o£ the Monarchs 

Heraclius, Negus and Muqauqis received the letters 
from the Messenger with all due respect and each gave a 
courteous reply. Negus and Muqauqis showed the highest 
regard to the envoys and the latter sent even some presents 
to the Messenger. These included two slave-girls, one of 
them Was Maria, who gave birth to the Messenger's son 
Ibrahim. 

Choroes 11 was indignant; he tore the letter into 
pieces, saying, "My slave dares to write me thus!" When 
his reply was conveyed to the Prophet he said, "Even so 
shall Allah shatter his kingdom to pieces .232 

Chosroes 11 wrote to Badhan, who was his governor 
in Yemen, to get the Messenger sent to him in Ctesiphon. 
Badhan deputed Babwayh. to tell .the Messenger what 
Chosroes 11 had written to him and that he had come to 
take him to the King. But when Babwayh came to Madina, 
the Messenger told him, 'Allah has given servent power 
over his father and he has killed Chosroes 11." The 
prophecy of the Messenger came true exactly in the way 
foretold by him. Chosroes' son Qubaz had by then 
deposed his father and seized the throne under the title of 


231 Mawahib Ladunniyah, Vol. Ill, pp. 247-48. 

232 Tabari, Vol. Ill, pp. 90-91. 


252 



Sherveh. Chosroes II was murdered in March 628 C.E.. and 
with him ended the glory of four hundred years old house 
of Sasanids. Sherveh enjoyed only six months of the fruits 
of his crime, and in the space of four years the regal title 
was transferred to ten sovereigns in quick succession, 
until, the exhausted monarchy was assumed by Yazdagied 
III. He was the last Persian Emperor for he was soon to flee 
for his life before the advancing army of the Muslims. And 
thus was realised the Prophet's prophecy within eight 
years of his pronouncement. The Messenger had also said, 
"No more Chosroes after Chosroes dies." This portion of 
the prediction also came to pass with the fall of Yazdagird 
III. 

In a few years the whole of Iran lay at the feet of the 
Muslims. The bulk of the population adopted Islam and 
there were born in Iran men with such lambent flame of 
intellect that proved true, word by word, what the 
Messenger had once remarked: "If knowledge were to he 
found in pleads, some of the sons of Persia would attain 

it. "233 


Enemy speaks the truth of the Prophet (PBUH) 

Heraclius decided to satisfy himself about the 
contents of the Messenger's letter. He ordered to search for 
a man from Arabia who could tell him about the Prophet. 
Abu Sufyan happened to he there on a business trip and so 
he was produced before him. The questions asked by 
Heraclius on this occasion show that he had a deep insight 


Musnad Imam Ahmad, Vol. II, p. 399. 


253 



into the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets of 
yore and he knew how and when Allah sends them and 
the way they are usually treated by their people. Abu 
Sufyan, too, acted like a true Arab for he considered it 
below his dignity to tell the Emperor anything but the 
truth. 

The conversation between Heraclius and Abu 
Sufyan is significant enough to be quoted here in extensor. 

Heraclius: Tell me about his lineage. 

Abu Sufyan: He comes of the best lineage. 
Heraclius: Did anybody before him make the claim he 
does ? 

Abu Sufyan: No. 

Heraclius: Had there been any king in his family? 

Abu Sufyan: No. 

Heraclius: Who have followed him? Are they the 
poor and the weak or the nobles? 

Abu Sufyan: They are all poor and weak. 
Heraclius: Are his followers increasing or deserting him? 

Abu Sufyan: Their numbers are growing. 

Heraclius: Do those who enter his religion despise 
and leave? 

Abu Sufyan: No. 

Heraclius: Did you find him telling lies before he 
made the claim? 

Abu Sufyan: No. 

Heraclius : Did he ever break the word given by 

him? 

Abu Sufyan: Not as yet, but we have to see what 
he does in future. 

Heraclius: Did you ever fight against him? 

254 



Abu Sufyan: Yes. 

Heraclius: What was the result? 

Abu Sufyan: The fortunes have varied, sometimes 
in our favour, sometimes in his. 

Heraclius: What is it that he teaches? 

Abu Sufyan: He asks to worship One Allah, and 
not to associate aught with Him; to offer prayers; to be 
virtuous; to speak the truth; and to be kind to the kinsmen. 

Heraclius: then asked the interpreter to tell. 

Abu Sufyan: "1 asked you about his lineage and 
you replied that it was the noblest among you. Prophets 
always come from the best lineage. 1 asked you if any man 
in his family had made a similar claim and your reply was 
'No.' If anybody had made a claim to Messengership in his 
family, 1 would have thought that he was imitating him. 
Then 1 asked if there had been a king in his family, and 
you said 'No.' Had it been so, 1 would have surmised that 
he was trying to recover his lost kingdom. And 1 enquired 
if you knew him to be untruthful before making the claim, 
and you said 'No.' 1 know that it is not possible for a man 
to be truthful to the people but to mince the truth in regard 
to Allah. Then 1 asked you if his followers were drawn 
from the people of rank and distinction or they were the 
poor and the weak, and you replied that they were humble 
and meek. Prophets are always followed by the humble 
and poor in the beginning. And 1 asked if his followers 
were increasing and you said that they were gaining in 
numbers. Faith is always like that for it goes on increasing 
until it is triumphant. Then 1 asked if anybody had turned 
away from him and rejected his faith and your reply was 
'No.' The faith once settled in the heart never leaves it. 

255 



And then I asked if he ever broke his word and you said 
'No/ Prophets never break their promises. Then I asked 
about his teachings and you told me that he asked you to 
worship One Allah, not to associate aught with Him; bade 
you to turn away from the idols and to speak the truth; 
and to be virtuous and to glorify the Lord. Now, if you 
have told me the truth about him he will conquer the 
ground that is beneath my feet. 1 knew that a prophet was 
about to be barn but 1 had never thought that he would 
come from Arabia. If it had been possible 1 would have 
called upon him, and if. 1 had been with him, 1 would have 
washed his feet." Heraclius summoned his chiefs and 
courtiers and got the doors of his chamber closed upon 
them. Then, turning to them he said, "Ye Chiefs of Rome! 
,lf you desire safety and guidance so that your kingdom 
shall be firmly established, then you follow the Arabian 
Prophet." Whereupon they all started off but found the 
doors closed. When Heraclius saw them getting sore, he 
was despairing of their conversion, so he ordered to bring 
them back. He said, "What 1 had said before was to test 
your constancy and faith and 1 am now satisfied of your 
firmness and devotion." The courtiers lowered their heads 
and were pleased to hear him speaking thus. 

Heraclius lost the golden opportunity: he preferred 
his kingdom over the eternal truth. And, in consequence 
he lost even his kingdom after a few years during the time 
of Caliph Umar. 


256 



Letters to the Arab Potentates 

The Prophet also sent letters to Mundhir b. Saw a 
ruler Bahrain; 234 Jayfar b. al-Julanda, and 'Abd b. al- 
Julanda235 Azdi, rulers of 'Oman; Haudha b. 'Ali, the ruler 
of al-Yamama 236 ^nd Harith b. Shammar 
al-Ghassani. Mundhir b. Sawa and the two sons of 
al-Julanda, Jayfar and 'Abd embraced Islam. Haudha b. Ali 
wrote back to say that he would accept Islam provided he 
was allowed to share the dominion with the Muslims. The 
Messenger turned down his request and he died soon 
thereafter. 


234 Bahrain forms part of Najd and is now known as Al-Ahsa. 
The party sent under Abu 'Ubayda to raid the coast was 
dispatched to this region where it found a whale from the sea. 
The Traditions refer to this region as al-Bahrain. The name is 
now applied to another region, a Sheikhdom on the coast of 
Persian Gulf. The tribes inhabiting the region belonged to Bani 
'Abd al-Qays, Bakr b. Wa'll and Bani Tamim. When the letter 
was written the ruler of the area was Mundhir b. Sawa, the Chief 
of Bani Tamim. 

235 Al-Julanda was not the name of any person but a title 
meaning Chief or the religious leader in the dialect of 'Oman. 
Jayfar, being the eldest brother, was then the Chief of 'Oman. 

236 Haudha b; 'All al-Hanafi was the King of Yamama, who 

professed Christianity. Salit b. 'Amr was commissioned to 
deliver the Prophet's 

letter to him. Yamama was then a vast region between Bahrain, 
to the east, and Hijaz, to the west. Banu Hanifa were settled in 
this region. Musaylima belonged to this tribe, who was 
nicknamed Kazzab or the lier after he made a claim to 
Messengers hip. 


257 



THE EXPEDITION TO KHAYBAR 


The Divine Reward 

Allah had promised a great reward to all those who 
had, at Hudaybia, sworn allegiance to the Messenger 
which was known as Bey'at Rizwan or the oath of paradise. 
For they had submitted to the will of Allah and His 
Messenger in that hour of crisis, Allah foretold them of the 
coming victory as well as the booty they were to win 
shortly. 

"Allah was well pleased with the believers when 
they swore allegiance unto you beneath the tree, and He 
knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down peace of 
reassurance on them, and has rewarded them with a near 
Victory. 

And much booty that they will capture. Allah is 
ever mighty, Wise.^s^ 

The conquest of Khaybar was to serve as a prelude 
to the subsequent victories that followed in its train. 
Khaybar was a Jewish colony 238 comprising several 
citadels, some of which were built on the tops of hills and 
were virtually impregnable. It was, thus, the last but 
formidable Jewish stronghold in Arabia. Anxious to 
punish the Muslims for what had happened to their 
brothers in Madina, the Jews of Khaybar were ever willing 
to spend their wealth for stirring up the neighbouring 


237 Q. 48:18-19. 

238 forts of Na'im, Qamus and Ash-Shiqq were some of the 
famous forts of Khaybar. Yaqiibi says that Khaybar then had 
25,000 able-bodied warriors. (Vol. 2, p. 56, cited from Mujlb 
Ullah Nadwi, Sahibah was Tabi'yin, Azamgarh) 

258 



Arab tribes to wage war against the Prophet. At the time 
when the expedition to Khayber was undertaken, the Jews 
of the place were in league with the tribe of Ghatfin with 
whom they were hatching up a plot against the Muslims.^s^ 
The Prophet had thus reason to act against the Jews of 
Khaybar. He decided that the time had come to get rid of 
their intrigues once for all so that he might be able to divert 
his attention to other pricing affairs. Khaybar was situated 
at a distance of 112 Km, to the north-east of Madina. 

The Messenger leads the Army 

After his return from Hudaybia the Messenger 
stayed in Madina during Dhul-Hijja and a part of the 
month of-Muharram. Thereafter he marched off to 
Khaybar. 

One of the Companions of the Prophet, 'Amir b. al- 
Akw'a by name, accompanied the Messenger on this 
expedition. He recited the verses given here while he rode 
with the army. 

"We'd have not been guided, but for Allah, 

Nor given alms, nor chanted Gloria, 

We are the people, when attacked 


239 vVith the Jews straining every nerve to bring about the 
destruction of Muslims, as Montgomery Watt says in his book, 
Muhammad Prophet and Statesman (p. 189), the action against 
Khaybar could not have been postponed any longer. 
Montgomery writes: 'The Jews of Khaybar, especially the leaders 
of the clan of an-Nadir exiled from Madina, were still incensed at 
Muhammad. They made lavish, though no doubt judicious, use 
of their wealth to induce the neighbouring tribes to take up arms 
against the Muslims. This was a straight forward reason for 
attack in Khaybar." 


259 



Or treated unjustly, we resist. 

Send down Sakinah upon us. 

Against the enemy make us firm.24o 
The combatants who marched against Khaybar 
numbered 1,400 including 200 cavalry; all those who had 
lagged behind off the occasion of Hudaybia were refused 
permission to go on this expedition. Twenty women also 
went along with the force so as to look after the sick and 
the wounded as well as to prepare food for the men. 

The Messenger halted at Raj'i, a wadi between 
Khaybar and the Ghatfan so as to cut the communications 
between the two allies. The Jews had other confederate 
tribes as well but the Prophet's halt at Raj'i forced all of 
them to remain at their homes instead of trying to reinforce 
the Jews. The road to Khaybar was thus left open to the 
Messenger. 

The Messenger ordered to procure food for the 
army but nothing except parched corn was available. 24i 
When the Messenger approached Khaybar, he raised his 
hand to pray Allah for the conquest of the colony and 
sought the Lord's refuge from the evil of its people. The 
Messenger never took the offensive during night but 
delayed it till the crack of dawn and if the call for prayer 
was given, he first performed the prayer. Here, too, he 
passed the night and ordered to march ahead before the 
call for prayer was given. The Muslims met the workers of 
Khaybar coming out with spades and baskets. As soon as 

240 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, pp. 344-45, Muslim, Chap. Gazwah 
Khaybar. 

241 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, pp. 345-46, Bukhari, Chapter, Ghazwah 
Khaybar. 


260 



they saw the Messenger and the army, they turned off 
their heels shouting, "Muhammad (SAW) and his force." 
The Messenger said, "Allah is Great. Khaybar is destroyed. 
When we fall upon a people, the morning is bad for those 
who have already been warned."242 

The Victorious Commander 

The Messenger came at the forts and started 
overpowering them one by one. Marhab, the well-known 
Jew warlord, held one of these citadels. It was a fortified 
stronghold at which the initial drives did not meet with 
success, while 'Ali was suffering from ophthalmia. After a 
few unsuccessful charges, the Messenger said, "Tomorrow 
1 will give the standard to a man who loves Allah and His 
Messenger and he will conquer the fort." Every companion 
waited in suspense, hoping to get the standard. The 
Messenger summoned 'Ali, applied his spittle to 'All's eyes 
and prayed for his success. The eyes of 'Ali were cured in 
no time; he was then given the standards and told to fight 
the Jews until he prevailed over them. The Prophet said to 
'Ali, "Go ahead and encompass them. First invite them to 
accept Islam and explain the obligations they owe to Allah. 
1 Swear to Allah that if even one man is guided to the right 
path through you, this would be better for you than the 
red camels". 

Ali faces the Jew Warrior 

When 'Ali came near the fort, Marhab the Jew came 
out on his horse protected by armour and shield; reciting a 


242 Ibn Hisham, Vol. Ill, pp. 229-30. 

261 



poem about his valour. 'Ali dashed out on Marhab and 
both fell upon each other swinging their scimitars. 'Ali's 
sword was first to plunge into Marhab running through 
his helmet and head until his face was divided into two 
equal parts. 'Ali was at last successful in reducing the 

fort.243 

Muhammad b. Maslaina fought bravely at Khaybar 
and killed a number of well-known Jewish warriors. 

An Easy Reward 

The slave of a Jew of Khaybar had been hired to 
watch over the flocks of his master. When he saw the Jews 
taking up arms for giving a fight to the Muslims, he asked, 
"What for do you go?" The Jews replied that they were 
going to fight the man who had laid a claim to 
prophethood. The slave's curiosity brought him to the 
Prophet, whom he asked about the faith preached by him. 
The Messenger replied, "1 call you to Islam, that is, you 
bear witness that there is no deity save Allah and that 1 am 
the Messenger of Allah, and you serve not aught except 
Allah." 

"If 1 bear witness as you say," enquired the slave, 
"and have faith in Allah, what shall 1 get in return?" 


243 The encounter between 'Ali and Marhab has been reported by 
different persons - some say they fought for the fort of Naim 
while other relate it in connection with the fort of Qamiis. 
Bukhari has given different portions of the story but has not 
mentioned the name of the fort. Ibn Hisham relates that Marhab 
was killed by Muhammad b. Maslama but a report in the Sahih 
Muslim mentions 'Ali, while some verses by 'Ali leave no doubt 
that he fought and killed Marhab. (Muslim, Kitab-uI-Jihad, 
report No. 1807). 


262 



The Messenger replied, "If you die with faith, you 
will' enter paradise." 

The slave accepted Islam and then asked the 
Messenger, "What should I do with this flock? I hold it in 
trust." 

The Messenger told him to abandon the goats in the 
field near the fort and Allah would cause them to reach 
their owner. The man did as he had been told and the 
goats did found their way back to their master. The Jew 
also came to know that his slave has gone over to the 
Muslims. 

Before the encounter started between the Muslims 
and the Jews, the Prophet urged his men to fight for the 
sake of Allah. The slave also advanced with the Muslims 
and was killed in the battlefield. When his dead body was 
brought back by the Muslims the Messenger cast a glance 
at him and turning to his Companions said, "Allah blessed 
this man and brought him to Khaybar. I saw two houris 
standing by his side although he never prostrated to 
Allah."244 

I did not come to you for it 

A Bedouin came to the Messenger and after 
accepting Islam expressed his wish to accompany him in 
the expedition. The Messenger asked some of his 
Companions to take care of him and see to his needs. 
When the Muslims captured one of the forts and won a 
large booty, the man had taken out a herd of cattle for 


Edal.Ma Vol. 1, p. 393 


263 



grazing. The spoil was distributed among the combatants 
and the share of the Bedouin was also apportioned. When 
he was given his share, he took it to the Messenger and 
asked, "What is it?" The Messenger explained that it was 
his share of the booty of war, but he said, "1 didn't come to 
you for it." Then pointing to his throat he continued, "1 
followed you in the hope that 1 would be hit by an arrow 
here and would go to paradise" The Messenger replied, "If 
you desire it so, Allah will do likewise." 

Then, in a subsequent battle at Khaybar the dead 
body of the Bedouin was found among those killed in the 
encounter. The Messenger asked, "Is it the same man?" 
When the Companions replied in the affirmative, the 
Messenger remarked, "He was true to Allah and Allah 
made his wish come true." The Messenger shrouded his 
corpse with his own mantle and recited the funeral service 
for him. Thereafter, he said, "O Allah, Thy servant had 
some to migrate in Thy way and was killed for Thy sake. 1 
bear witness to it."245 

The people of Khaybar were besieged in their feets 
which began to fall one by one. The Jews, unable to stand 
the siege any longer, asked for the terms of peace. The 
Messenger wanted to banish the Jews from Khaybar but 
they requested him to be allowed to live in their homes 
and to cultivate the fields. They pleaded that they were 
better farmers and knew more about it than others. The 
Messenger did not want his Companions to till the soil 
since it would have required them to settle there and lay 
themselves out in farming. He, therefore, allowed the Jews 


245 Zaad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 394. 

264 



to retain their farms and houses on the condition that the 
Muslims would get half of the produce of their fields and 
groves. Another condition imposed was that the 
agreement could be abrogated unilaterally by the 

Messenger.246 

The Messenger used to send 'Abdullah b. Rawaha 
who used to divide the produce into two equal parts, and 
then ask the Jews to choose one of them. The Jews often 
remarked on his even-handed justice: "This is on which 
stand the heavens and the earth."247 

Religious Tolerance 

The booty carried off by the Muslim, in the battle of 
Khaybar included a few copies of the Jewish scripture. The 
Jews requested the Prophet for them and he ordered that 
they should he given back to them.248 

A Jewish scholar. Dr. Israel Weiphenson reviewing 
the conquest of Khaybar, refers to the magnanimous 
treatment of the Jews by the Messenger in these words: 

"The event shows what a high regard .the Prophet 
had for their scriptures His tolerant and considerate 
behaviour impressed the Jews who could never forget that 
the Prophet did nothing which trifled with their sacred 
scriptures. The Jews knew how the Romans had, when- 
they captured Jerusalem in 70 B.C., burnt their scriptures 
and trampled them underfoot. The fanatic Christians 
persecuting the Jews of Spain had likewise consigned their 


246 Zaad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, pp. 394-95. For details see Sinan Abu 
Dawud. 

247 Baledhuri: Futu-ul-Buldan, Leiden, 1886, p. 34. 

248 Tarikh-al-Khamis, Vol. II, p. 60. 

265 



scriptures to fire. This is the great difference we find 
between these conquerors and the Prophet of Islam."249 

Arrival of J'afar b. Abi Talib 

J'afar b. Abi Talib, the cousin of the Messenger and 
other emigrants, returned from Abyssinia while the 
Prophet was still in Khaybar. The Messenger was so 
pleased to see him that he kissed the forehead of J'afar and 
said, "By Allah, 1 don't know which gives me the greater 
pleasure, the conquest of Khaybar or the arrival of 

J'afar!"25o 

Another Jewish Conspiracy 

It was during the Khaybar expedition that an 
attempt was made to poison the Messenger. Zaynab bint 
al-Harith, the wife of Salam b. Mishkam, presented a roast 
kid to the Messenger, having first enquired what joint he 
preferred. On coming to know that the shoulder was 
relished by the Messenger she put a lot of poison in it and 
brought it to him. The Prophet tasted a morsel and quickly 
spat it out for he immediately came to know that it was 
poisoned. 

The Messenger summoned the Jews and enquired 
from them, "Will you be truthful, if 1 ask something from 
you?" They said, "Yes". The Messenger again asked them, 
"Did you poison the kid?" When they again replied in the 
affirmative, the Messenger enquired what had made them 
to do that. They replied, "We thought that if you were a 
pretender, we would get rid of you, but if you were really 

249 Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. II, p. 60. 

250 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 397. 

266 



a prophet, the poison would be ineffective." Zaynab bint 
Al-Harith was then produced before the Messenger. She 
confessed her guilt, saying, "1 wanted to kill you." The 
Prophet replied, "Allah would not allow you to gain 
power over me." Some of the Companions asked for 
permission to punish the woman for her crime, but the 
Messenger forbade them. Z'aynab was set free but when 
Bishr b. al-Bara' who had taken the roast lamb with the 
Messenger, died a painful death Zaynab was slain .251 

Effect of the conquest of Khaybar 

The glorious victory won by the Muslims at 
Khaybar was of far-reaching importance, especially for the 
tribes which had still not accepted Islam. They were aware 
of the wealth and prowess of the Jews of Khaybar, their 
impregnable strongholds and valour of the well-known 
warriors like Marhab and Harith Abi Zaynab. They 
deemed its capture to be virtually impossible but their 
estimate of the nascent power of Madina had proved all in 
the wrong. They now knew that the Muslims' arms were 
irresistible. 

Discussing the effect of the victory gained at 
Khaybar on the subsequent history of Islam, Dr. Israel 
Weiphenson says : 

"There is not the least doubt that the conquest 
of Khaybar occupies an important place in the 
history of the subsequent conquests of Islam. 

All the Arab tribes were anxiously watching 
for the outcome of the sabre rattling between 


251 Bukhari. 


267 



the Ansar and the Jews. The enemies of the 
Prophet spread over many cities and the 
desert had pinned their hopes upon this 
battle.' 

The Spoils of Khaybar 

Having finished with the Khaybar, the Prophet 
directed his attention to Fadak^sz which was the principal 
town, fertile and populous, in the northern part of Hijaz, 
with strong fortifications. ^53 The Jews of Fadak sent an 
offer of peace to the Messenger, on the condition that they 
should be allowed to keep half of their produce. The terms 
were accepted by the Messenger who used to spend the 
income from Fadak on the welfare of the Muslims.254 

The Messenger then moved on with the army to the 
Wadi'l Qura^ss, a colony founded by the Jews during the 
pre-Islamic period. Lying midway between Khaybar and 
Taima, it had become a flourishing town with the 
settlement of a number of Arab tribes in it. The Messenger 
invited the Arabs of Wadi'l-Qura to accept Islam. He told 
them that if they acceded Islam, their life and property 
would be safe and they would have a goodly return from 
the Lord. 


252 The population of Fadak consisted of the Jews belonging to 
Ban! Murrah and Ban! S'ad b. Bakr. (Nihayatul 'Arab Vol. XVII, 
p. 209). 

253 Ibn, Hisham, Vol. II, p. 368. 

254 Ibid. 

255 Wadi'l-Qura was a valley with a large number of villages and 
towns, populated by Arab and Jewish tribes. It had a fertile land 
with numerous wells and springs. 

268 



The Jews decided to fight but the heroic assault led 
by Zubayr b. al-'Awwam made them to surrender the very 
next day. A great deal of property fell into the hands of the 
Muslims. The Prophet distributed the spoils among his 
troops but left the groves of date-palm to the Jews. 

When the Jews of Taima^s^ learnt about the fall of 
Khaybar, Fadak and WadiT-Qura and the terms on which 
they had made peace with the Messenger, they hastened to 
send him an offer of peace. The Prophet accepted their 
proposal and allowed them to retain the possession of their 
land and property. Thereafter the Messenger returned to 

Madina.257 


Large-heartedness o£ the Muhajirin 

The Ansar of Madina had shared their possessions 
with the emigrants when they had come from Makkah. 
Now, well- provided with the spoils of Khaybar, the 
Muhajirin returned the property shared earlier by their 
Ansar brethren. Umm Sulaym, the mother of Arias b. 
Malik, had presented a few date- palm trees to the 
Messenger, who had given now these to his freed slave- 
woman Umin Ayman. After the Messenger got the groves 
of Fadak, he returned the date-palm trees of Umm Sulaym 
to her and compensated Umm Ayman with ten trees of 
Fadak for every date-palm given-earlier to her.^ss 


256 Taima is further away from Wadi-l-Qura in the north near the 
confines of Syria. The noted Jewish poet, Samawal b. 'Adiya 
lived here in a castle called al-Ablaq at-Fard. 

257 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 405. 

258 Ibid., p. 406. 


269 



The Messenger sent forth a number of raiding 
parties under eminent Companions against some of the 
contumacious desert tribes. Some of these detachments 
had to put up a fight against them while others returned 
without any contest.^s® 

The Missed Pilgrimage 

The following year, in 7 A. H., the Messenger and 
his followers took the road to Makkah for performing the 
lesser pilgrimage missed by them earlier. The Quraysh 
thought it best to lock their houses and retire to the heights 
of Jabl Qa'yq'an overlooking the valley.^^o The Messenger 
stayed for three days in the holy city and made the circuit 
of the holy house. Referring to the joyous event, the Qur'an 
says: 

"Allah has fulfilled the vision ^61 for his 
Messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter 
the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, 
secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut, not 
fearing. He knoweth that which you know 
not, and has given you a near victory 
beforehand." 

Rights of Women restored 

Islam had changed the hearts and elevated the 
minds of the Arabs. The custom which prevailed in the 

259 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, pp. 409-410. 

260 Bukhari, Chap. Umratul Qada. 

261 The Prophet had a vision that he was entering the Sanctuary 
at Makkah in peace and safety. 

262 Q.48:27 


270 



pre-Islamic days of burying female infants alive, so as to 
save the honour of the family was not only given up but 
the daughters came to be so dearly loved that the people 
vied with one another to lavish their affection on them. All 
Muslims, men and women, were equal, none possessing a 
privilege over another; only he was superior who was 
better in morals and piety. When the Messenger left 
Makkah after performing the 'Umrah, the little daughter of 
Hamza, Umama by name, followed him calling "Uncle, 
Uncle." 'Al! took her and bade Fatima to look after her. 
Now, Zayd and J'afar also claimed the guardianship of the 
child. 'Ali laid the claim of her since she was the daughter 
of his uncle. J'afar said that she was the daughter of his 
uncle and her maternal aunt was his wife. Zayd, too, 
wanted to have the child for all the Muslims were brothers 
and he could very well look after the daughter of a 
deceased brother. The matter was brought to the notice of 
the Prophet, who decided that the maternal aunt being in 
the position of the mother; the girl should be given to 
J'afar. To set 'Ali at ease, the Prophet said, "You are mine 
and 1 am yours." He reassured J'afar by saying, "You 
resemble me in your looks and conduct." Zayd was also 
comforted with the words, "You are my brother and 

client. "263 


263 Bukhari, Chap. Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

271 



THE EXPEDITION TO MU'TA264 


The Messenger had sent Harith b. 'Umayr al-Azdi 
to deliver his letter to Sharhbil-b.-'Amr al-Ghassani, a 
satrap of the Byzantine Emperor at Busra. Harith was first 
tied up under the orders of Sharbil and then beheaded.^® 
Howsoever a disagreeable message was conveyed by an 
embassy, it had never been the custom of kings to 
condemn the envoys to a death sentence. The crime was 
disgraceful both for the sender of the letter and the 
addressee as well as fraught with danger to the envoys, 
and could not be allowed to go unpunished. The guilt of 
blood had to be avenged with firmness so that no tyrant 
dared to repeat the crime in future. 

First Expedition to the Byzantine Territory 

The Messenger decided to send a detachment to 
Busra in Jamad-al-Ula, 8 A. H. 

A force of 3,000 strong was drafted. It was the 
strongest force sent out so far and a number of leading 
Companions had enlisted for active service, but the 
Messenger gave its command to his freed slave, Zayd b. 
Haritha. He also instructed that if Zayd were killed then 
J'afar b. Abu Talib would take the command, and if he 


264 Miita lies 12 km. to the south of Kirk in Trans-Jordan. Thus 
Mii'ta is at a distance of about 1,100 km. from Madina. The 
troops sent for this expedition had to cover the entire distance on 
horses and camels in an enemy country without any hope of 
assistance or provision being made available by the local 
population. 

265 Zad-al-Ma'ad, Vol. 1, p. 414. 

272 



were also slain then the command would pass on to 
'Abdullah b. Rawaha. When the expedition got ready to 
depart, the people bade farewell and saluted the 
commanders selected by the Messenger .266 The force had to 
undertake a long and arduous journey and to face an 
enemy backed by the strongest empire of the world. 

The force advanced to Ma'an in Syria where Zayd 
came to know that Heraclius was present at Balqa' with a 
hundred thousand Roman troops joined by an equally 
strong force drawn from the Arab tribes of Lakhm and 
Judham and Bal-Qayn and Bahra' and Bali. The Muslims 
bivouacked for two. days at Ma'an, pondering over the 
situation.' They decided at last to inform the Messenger 
about the strength of the enemy; if reinforcements were 
sent by him well and good, otherwise they would face the 
enemy if so ordered.^^^ 

Dauntless Warriors 

'Abdullah b. Rawah made an impassioned speech 
encouraging his comrades: He said: "Men, you dislike the 
thing, by Allah, for which you came out—martyrdom. We 
do not fight the enemy on the strength of our numbers, or 
our power; we fight them with the religion we have been 
honoured by Allah. So come on, we shall be gainers both 
ways; either we win or we court martyrdom." So the men 
got up and forged ahead to meet the enemy. 


266 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 373. 

267 Zad al-Ma'ad Vol. I, p. 415. 


273 



Action starts 

When the Muslims reached near Balqa', they found 
the Byzantine forces stationed in a village called Masharif. 
With the news of the arrival of Muslim forces, the enemy 
advanced towards them, and the Muslim troops took up 
their position in a village called Mii'ta where the actual 
operation took place/ 

Zayd b. Haritha, who held the Messenger's 
standard, descended on the enemy and died fighting 
bravely. He received innumerable wounds with 'spears. 
The standard was now taken in hand by J'afar, who led the 
fight. When the battle-hermmed in, he jumped off his 
charger and hamstrung its forelegs, and fought until he 
'lost his right hand. He took the standard in his left hand 
but when it was also cut off, he caught hold of the 
standard with his teeth. He fell down dead in the 
battlefield after receiving ninety cuts from swords and 
spears on his chest and arms, but none on his back.' He 
was then 33 years of age. Thus fought this youngman with 
reckless courage in the teeth of greatest odds, defying the 
enemy's numbers and strength, until he was honoured by 
Allah with martyrdom. 

The Messenger's standard was then held aloft by 
'Abdullah b. Rawaha. He too dismounted from his horse 
and pressed onwards. One of 'Abdullah's cousins came up 
to him with a meat bone, saying, "Take it for you have not 
had anything for the last few days. It will give you 
strength to fight." 'Abdullah took it and ate a little. Then 


274 



he threw it away and, taking the sword in hand, fought 
bravely until he was also killed.^'^s 

Khalid Assumes Command 

Now the Muslim troops rallied round Khalid b. 
Walid, who took the standard in his hand. With his instinct 
of generalship, Khalid made his way to the south while the 
enemy forces turned aside towards the north.269 The day 
was done by this time and both the forces, tired by day¬ 
long fight, thought it prudent to stop the fighting. 

Khalid stationed a part of his force at a distance 
from his camp in the hush of night. At the first flush of 
morning the detachment set apart by Khalid started 
shouting cries of war which gave an impression to the 
enemy that fresh reinforcements had arrived from Madina. 
The enemy had had the experience of fighting the small 
force of 3,000 Muslims the previous day. Now they dared 
not fight them again strengthened by additional troops. 
The Roman soldiery was disheartened and did not take the 
field. Muslims were thus spared the trouble of putting up a 

fight again. 270 

A Glimpse of the Battlefield 

While the Muslims were engaged in fighting the 
enemy at Mu'ta, the Messenger was giving a description of 
the conflict in Madina. Anas b. Malik relates that the 
Messenger of Allah had announced the death of Zayd, 
J'afar and Abdullah b. Rawaha before the report about 


268 Ibid., Ibn Hisham, Vol. II. p. 379. 

269 Zad al Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 415; Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 379. 

270 AI-Maghazi lil-Waqidi. 


275 



them reached Madina. Anas reports that the Messenger 
said: "Zayd took the standard and was smitten; then J'afar 
took it and was smitten, then Ibn Rawaha took it and was 
smitten"; the tears meanwhile trickling down from his 
eyes. The Messenger continued, according to Anas, 
"Finally one of Allah's swords (meaning Khalid b. Walid) 
took the standard till Allah granted them success."27i 

J'afar Tayyar 

Another report about J'afar says that the Messenger 
said about him, "Allah has given two wings to J'afar in 
place of his arms. He flies in the Paradise, wherever he 
likes.272 Thereafter J'afar came to be known as J'afar Tayyar 
and Dhil Jinahain, meaning one who has two wings. 

Words, kind and comfortable 

The Messenger went to the house of J'afar and 
asked his wife to bring her children. When they were 
brought the Messenger took them to his face, tears rinsing 
down his eyes. Then he told them about the death of J'afar. 
When the news about J'afar reached the Messenger from 
the front, he sent word to his family, "Prepare food for the 
family of J'afar. They would be too shocked to cook their 
food." The Prophet's face at the time reflected his grief.^^s 


Bukhari, Chap. Gazwa Mu'ta. 

272 Bukhari, Chap. Ghazwa Mu'ta and Zad al-Ma'ad Vol. I, p. 415. 
Bukhari relates that Umar used to greet the son of J'afar thus 
"Peace be on you. O son of the twp-winged man." 

273 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 380-81. 

276 



Not Deserters but Battlers 

When the army returning from Mii'ta got near 
Madina, the Messenger and the Muslims went out to 
receive them. The boys also came running while the 
Prophet was on his camel. The Prophet said, "Take the 
boys and give me J'afar's son." J'afar's son 'Abdullah was 
brought to the Messenger who seated him in his front. 

This was the first time that a Muslim army had 
returned without winning a decisive victory. Some of the 
people started throwing dust on the men, saying the while, 
"You runaways, you fled from the way of Allah." The 
Messenger said, "They are not runaways but battlers, if 
Allah wills."274 


Musnad Ahmad b. Banbal. 


Til 



CONQUEST OF MAKKAH 

Background o£ the Conquest 

Islam was now well-settled in the hearts of the 
Muslims who had, by the time, learnt all about it through 
experience. Allah had also put them to trial and felt out- 
their minds and motives. 

On the other hand, the Quraysh of Makkah had 
prosecuted, persecuted, exiled and battled with the 
Muslims; in short, they had been guilty of every sin of 
commission and omission against the Prophet and his 
followers. The Will of Heaven now decreed that the 
Messenger of Allah and his Companions should enter the 
holy city as its conquerors and cleanse it of the defilement 
of idol worship and deceit and lie and wickedness. 
Providence decided that the sanctity of the sacred city 
should again be restored to it so that it might again become 
the centre of Divine guidance and blessing for the entire 
humanity. 

Dereliction of Bani Bakr and Quraysh 

Allah created circumstances through the breach of 
faith by the Quraysh themselves who unwittingly 
provided a valid reason or rather made it unavoidable for 
the Muslims to lay their hands on Makkah—Allah's are the 
hosts of the heavens and the earth. 275 

The treaty of Hudaybia gave an option to everyone 
to enter into an alliance with the Messenger of Allah or to 
come to a similar agreement with the Quraysh. 


275 Q. 48:7. 


278 



Accordingly, Banu Bakr preferred to conclude a pact with 
the Quraysh while Banu Khuza'a entered into an alliance 
with the Messenger of Allahd^'’ 

Banu Bakr and Banu Khuza'a had a long standing 
feud since the pre-lslamic days. Now, one of these tribes 
aligning itself with the Muslims and the other with the 
pagans, their mutual hostility was further intensified; in 
fact, both the tribes had made alliances with the two 
parties with no other consideration save to have their 
revenge upon the other. After the establishment of 
armistice, Banu Bakr tried to take advantage of it against 
Khuza'a and, in league with certain persons, made a night 
attack on their enemy when it had taken up quarters at a 
spring. There was a fight between the two in which Baiai 
Khuza'a lost a number of their men. The Quraysh helped 
Banu Bakr with weapons while their chiefs, taking 
advantage of the night, fought against Khuza'a along with 
Banu Bakr. Their combined charge drove Khuza'a into the 
sacred territory where some of the Qurayshites said to one 
another: "We are now in the sacred area.' Mind your 
Allah's! Mind your Allah's!" But others replied 
imprudently. "We have no Allah today. Take your 
revenge, O Sons of Bakr, for you may not get a chance 

again. "277 

Complaint to the Messenger 

'Amr b. Salim al-Khuza'i went to the Messenger in 
Madina and recited verses describing how the Quraysh 


276 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 390. 

277 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 419 and Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 390. 

279 



had violated their pledged word. He asked the Messenger 
to extend his help by virtue of the treaty of alliance 
between him and the Khuza'a. He took the stand that the 
Quraysh had annulled the treaty with the Prophet by 
attacking his allies when they were at their well and had 
not spared their lives even when they were performing 
prayers. After listening to his plaint, the Prophet replied, 
"You will be helped, O 'Amr b. Salim!' 

Last Bid to Seek Justice 

The Messenger then sent a man to Makkah in order 
to get a confirmation of the incident and also to allow the 
Quraysh to redress the wrong committed by them. The 
Messenger directed to place three alternatives before the 
Quraysh; they should either pay the blood-money for the 
victims of Khuza'a or terminate their alliance with the 
aggressors belonging to Bani Nifasa of Banu Bakr, but 
failing these they shall get in return what they had done.' 
The terms were communicated to the Quraysh, but, in the 
fit of their pride, they replied, "Yes, we would prefer 
measure for measure." The 'Muslims were thus absolved 
of their undertaking with the Quraysh and it became 
incumbent on them to get satisfaction of the wrong done to 
their allies.^^s 


^^^Zilqari relates in the Sharh-al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyah (Vol. II, 
p. 349), on the authority of Ibn 'Ayidh that the man lent by the 
Prophet was Damra and Qartah b. 'Amr had given the reply on 
behalf of the Qurayin. 


280 



Efforts for Renewal of the Treaty 

When the 'Messenger was informed of the reply 
given by Quraysh, he said, "I see as if Abu Sufyan has 
come to you to strengthen the treaty and to ask for more 
time." The events took shape exactly as predicted by the 
Messenger. The Quraysh realised the enormity of the 
situation and felt sorry for the indiscrete reply given by the 
thoughtless among them. They charged Abu Sufyan to get 
the treaty ratified and extended again .279 

Prophet preferred over Parents 

When Abu Sufyan came to the Messenger in 
Madina, he went in to his daughter Umm Habiba, a wife of 
the Prophet. He wanted to sit on the Messenger's bed but 
she forbade him to do so. Abu Sufyan was puzzled. He 
said to Umm Habiba, "Daughter, 1 can't see if you think 
that the bed is too good for me or 1 am too good for the 
bed!" Umm Habiba replied, "The fact is that it is the 
Messenger's bed and you are an unclean polytheist. 

1 do not want you to sit on the Messenger's bed." 
"By Allah", said Abu Sufyan, "you have been spoiled since 
you left me." 

Abu Sufyan Bewildered 

Abu Sufyan went to the Messenger, but he gave no 
reply to him. Then he went to Abu Bakr and asked him to 
speak to the Messenger for him, but Abu Bakr refused to 
do so. He tried to prevail upon 'Umar, 'Ali and Fatima to 
intervene on his behalf but every one of them either 


279 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 420; Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 395-6. 

281 



excused himself or replied that the matter was too grave to 
be straightened out by him. Abu Sufyan so lost his nerves 
that when he went in to see Fatimah he said pointing, to 
Hasan b. Ali crawling in her front, "O daughter of 
Muhammad (peace be upon him), will you let this child act 
as a peacemaker between the people and that he may be 
acknowledged as the lord of Arabia for ever?" "My son is 
too young," replied Fatimah, to make peace between men. 
And, nobody can persuade the Messenger to reconcile 
against his will." 'Ali saw his perplexity and depression. 
At last, he said to Abu Sufyan, "1 do not think that 
anything can help you now. You are the Chief of Bani 
Kinana, so get up and try to smooth over and restore 
harmony and then go back to your home." Abu Sufyan felt 
uncertain. He enquired, "Do you think it would do any 
good?" "By Allah, 1 do not," replied 'Ali, "but there is 
nothing else you can do now." Abu Sufyan then went to 
the Prophet's mosque and announced. "O Men, 1 have 
made peace between you." Thereafter he mounted his 
dromedary and rode off to Makkah.^so 

When Abu Sufyan told the Quraysh what had 
happened, they said, "You have brought us a report which 
is good for naught either to us or to you." 

The Writ o£ Amnesty 

A cousin of the Messenger whose name was Abu 
Sufyan b. al-Harith^si happened to meet the Prophet in the 
way. He tried to get in to the Messenger but was given a 


280 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 396-7. 

281 Not to be confused with Abu Sufyan, the Qurayshite Chief, 
who was the son of Umayyah. 

282 



cold shoulder by him. Abu Sufyan had insulted as well as 
persecuted the Messenger in Makkah. Feeling distressed 
and disconsolate at the indifference of the Prophet he 
approached 'Ali to pour forth his lamentation. 'Ali advised 
him to go again to the Messenger and say what the 
brothers of Yiisuf^sz had said to him—'By Allah, verily 
Allah has preferred you above us, and we were indeed 
sinful'283 for, said 'Ali, the Messenger never likes anybody 
to exceed him in words, kind and comforting. Abu Sufyan 
did as directed by 'Ali and got the reply from the 
Messenger, "Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, 
and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. "284 

Abu Sufyan accepted Islam and was thereafter 
known for his piety and strength of faith hut he was 
always ashamed of his past misdeeds. He always talked to 
the Prophet with downcast eyes and never dared look into 
his face. 

Muslim army under the command of the Holy 
Prophet reaches Makkah and Abu Sufyan appears 
before him 

Campfires were now lit under the orders of the 
Messenger. Abu Sufyan felt aghast as he saw them, and 
said, "1 have never seen such fires and such an army 
before." He came out himself to explore secretly the camp 
and its people. 'Abbas b. 'Abdul Muttalib had already left 
Makkah along with his family and joined the Messenger. 


282 Prophet Joseph. 

283 Q:12:91 

284 Q. 12:92 


283 



He recognised Abu Sufyan's voice and called him to say, 
"See, the Messenger is here with his army. What a dreadful 
morning the Quraysh are going to have!" Abbas then 
thought that if any Muslim come to know of Abu Sufyan, 
he would surely be killed. He therefore asked Abu 
Sufyan. to ride on the back of his mule and brought him to 
tile Messenger. As soon as the Prophet saw Abu Sufyan, he 
said, "Has not the time yet come, O Abu Sufyan, for you to 
acknowledge that there is but One Allah ?" 

"My father and mother be your ransom," replied 
Abu Sufyan. How kind and gentle and noble you are; 1 
think that if there had been another Allah besides Allah, he 
would have been of help to me this day." The Messenger 
said again, "Woe to you Abu Sufyan, Is it not the time that 
you acknowledge me as Allah's Messenger ?". 

He answered, "My father and mother be your 
ransom. How kind and clement you are but 1 have still 
some doubt as to that." 

'Abbas now intervened to say, "Abu Sufyan, woe to 
you, submit and testify that there is no deity but Allah and 
that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of 
Allah before you lose your head." Abu Sufyan now recited 
the article of faith and thus he was converted to lslam.285 

General Amnesty 

The merciful Messenger of Allah now forgave the 
fault of all: it was the widest amnesty ever granted by any 
conqueror; only he could now lay himself open to danger 
who was bent upon running the hazard. The Prophet 


285 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p . 403:Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 422. 

284 



declared: "He who enters Abu Sufyan's house would be 
safe, he who shuts his door upon himself would be safe 
and he who enters the sacred mosque would be safe/'^s^ 

Before ordering the troops to enter Makkah the 
Messenger instructed his men to lift their hands only 
against those who obstructed their advance or drew 
swords against them. He also directed them not to lay their 
hands on any moveable or immoveable property of the 
Makkans nor to destroy anything.287 

Abu Sufyan witnesses the Army 

Before Abu Sufyan returned, the Messenger 
decided to demonstrate the power of Islam to him. He 
asked 'Abbas to take Abu Sufyan to a place where he could 
review the marching squadrons. 

The army on the move surged like an ocean. 
Different tribes passed by Abu Sufyan with their tribal 
colours, and, as each marched ahead he asked 'Abbas the 
name of the tribe. And, when he was told the name of the 
tribe he mumbled gloomily. "What have 1 to do with them 
?" Finally the Messenger passed with his detachment; the 
troops clad in full armour and appearing' greenish-black. 
It was the regiment of the Ansar and the Muhajirin whose 
eyes alone were visible because of their armour. 

Abu Sufyan sighed and asked 'Abbas, "Good 
heavens, Abbas, who are these?" When 'Abbas told him 
that they were the Ansar and the Muhajirin accompanying 
the Messenger, he said, "None of them enjoyed this 


286 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 409. 

287 Ibid. 


285 



magnificence before. By Allah, O Abul Fadl, the empire of 
your nephew has assumed splendid proportions this 
morning!" 'Abbas replied, "Abu Sufyan, it is the miracle of 
prophethood." "Yes", said Abu Sufyan, "That's just it." 

Abu Sufyan hurried back to Makkah, assembled 
the Quraysh and announced to them: "O People of the 
Quraysh, this is Muhammad (peace be upon him) who has 
come to you with a force that you cannot resist. Now, he 
who enters Abu Sufyan's house will be safe." "Allah blast 
you", cried some of the Quraysh, "how will your house 
suffice for us?" He added, "And who shuts his door upon 
himself, will be safe and he who enters the sacred mosque 
will be safe." Thereupon the people dispersed to take 
shelter in their houses and the mosque. 

Triumphant Entry into Makkah 

The Messenger entered Makkah with his head 
lowered in thanksgiving to Allah, his beard almost 
touching the saddle of his dromedary and the Suratul- 
Fath289 on his lips^^o, to denote the honour and victory 
granted to him. 

On the day the Messenger victoriously entered 
Makkah, which was the religious and political centre or 
rather the heart of Arabia, he took care to exemplify the 
principle of justice and equality to man and humility and 


288 Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 404; Zad-al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 423. 

289 48th chapter of the Qur'an, entitled 'Victory'. 

290 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 554, Bukhari relates on the authority of 
Mu'awiya b. Qarra that he saw the Prophet on the day of the 
conquest of Makkah when he was riding his camel and reciting 
aloud the Suratul-Fath. 


286 



submission to Allah, not forgetting even one cardinal 
virtue upheld by Islam. He seated Usama b. Zayd, the son 
of his ex-slave, with him on his camel although all the 
nobles of the Quraysh and of his own family, Bani Hashim, 
were present on the occasion. 

The Messenger entered Makkah on Friday, the 21st 
of Ramadan. 

The day Makkah fell to the Messenger of Allah, he 
happened to talk to a man who began to tremble because 
of his awe. The Messenger consoled him saying, "Be at 
ease and do not be afraid. 1 am not a king but merely the 
son of a Qurayshite woman who used to take meat dried in 
the sun."29i 


The Day of Mercy and Forgiveness 

S'ad b. 'Ubada passed by Abu Sufyan with a 
detachment of the Ansar. While marching ahead, he 
shouted: 

"Today is a day of conflict. 

Sanctuary is no more, 

Allah has humbled the Quraysh." 

In a short while, the Prophet's column came near 
Abu Sufyan. He complained to the Prophet and repeated 
what S'ad had said. The Messenger was displeased with 
S'ad's bragging and replied. 

"Nay, today is the day of mercy and forgiveness. 
Today will Allah honour the Quraysh, 


Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Mughazi, Chap. The Farewell Pilgrimage. 

287 



And raise glory of the Sanctuary ."292 
The Messenger sent for S'ad and taking the 
standard from him gave it to his son Qays. It meant as if 
the standard had not been taken from him .293 

Whatever the Prophet said or did, he was in fact 
guided from on High. The transfer of the standard was 
merely symbolic but not superfluous. The Messenger set at 
ease, on the one hand, Abu Sufyan whose, feelings had 
been hurt and, on the other, be avoided doing anything 
painful to Sa'd b. 'Ubada whose services for the cause of 
Islam were of no mean order. 

K'aba Cleared of Idols 

Finally, when normalcy returned to Makkah and 
the populace settled down, Allah's Messenger went to the 
sacred House of Allah. First he encompassed the sanctuary 
seven times. K'aba had at that time three hundred and 
sixty idols: he prodded each with a bow in his hand, 
saying: 

"Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. 
Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish."294 

And the idols collapsed, one after the other, falling 
on their faces.295 


292 Ibn Amwi has told this story in Maghazi. See Fath-ul-Bari, 
(Vol. VIII, p. 7. Bukhari has also related the incident, with a little 
variation, in the form of a dialogue between S'ad b. 'Ubada and 
the Messenger. The full name of Ibn Aniwi is Yahya b. Sa'id b. 
Aban who is regarded as a reliable narrator and known as 'the 
Truthful'. He died in 594 A. H. 

293 Z'ad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 423. 

294 Q. 17:81. 

295 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 424; Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 424. 

288 



There were also some images and figures in the 
K'aba. These were destroyed under the 'orders of the 
Messenger. 

Princely Generosity 

Having gone round the sanctuary, the Messenger 
sent for 'Uthman b. Talha, who had the charge of the 
K'aba's keys. He took the keys from 'Uthman and got the 
doors opened. Once, before his migration to Madina, the 
Messenger had requested 'Uthman to give him the keys of 
the K'aba, but 'Uthman had not only refused his request 
but had also been impertinent to him. With exemplary 
forbearance the Messenger had then said to him, "Uthman, 
the day will come when you will see this key in my hands. 
1 would then give it to whom 1 would like." 'Uthman had 
then retorted, "If the day comes, the Quraysh would be 
humiliated and crushed that day." "No", the Prophet had 
said calmly, "it would be the day when they would be 
honoured and secured." It is related that the prediction 
had so haunted the mind of 'Uthman that he had come to 
believe that it would happen exactly as foretold by the 
Messenger.' 

When the Messenger came out of the sanctuary he 
had the keys in his hand. 'Ali stood up and said, "Allah 
may have mercy and peace on you. Grant us the right of 
guarding the K'aba along with the watering of pilgrims." 
But the Messenger ignored his request and enquired, 
"Where is 'Uthman b. Talha?" 'Uthman was summoned 
and then the Messenger said, "Uthman, take the keys for 
these are yours. This is the day of good faith and 


289 



benevolence. This key shall ever remain with you and none 
but a tyrant would take it from you." 

Islam, the Religion of unalloyed Monotheism 

The Messenger stood at the door of the-K'aba, 
holding its frame, while the Quraysh arrayed themselves 
in front of him in the courtyard. The Messenger then 
addressed them, saying: 

"There is no Allah but Allah alone; He has no 
associate. He has made good His promise and helped His 
servant. He has alone overthrown all the confederates. Lo! 
All the privileges and claims to retaliation and blood wit 
are beneath my feet except the custody of the K'aba and 
watering of the pilgrims. 

"O you people of the Quraysh, Allah has 
abolished the haughtiness of paganism and 
the pride of lineage. Man springs from Adam 
and Adam sprang from dust." 

Thereafter the Messenger recited the Qur'anic 

verses: 

"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male 
and female, and have made you nations and 
tribes that you may know one another. Lo! 
the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the 
best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware." 

The Prophet of Mercy 

The Messenger then asked the Quraysh, 
"O Quraysh, what do you think 1 am about to do with 
you?" 


290 



"We hope for the best," they replied, "you are a 
noble brother, son of a noble brother." 

The Messenger said in reply, "1 say to you what 
Yusuf296 said to his brothers —"Have no fear this day;^^^ go 
your way for you are all free. "298 

Then the Messenger ordered Bilal to climb on the 
roof of the K'aba and give the call for prayer. This was the 
first time that the chiefs and nobles of the Quraysh heard 
the call to prayer resounding in the valley of Makkah. 

Thereafter, the Messenger went to the house of 
Umme Hani bint Abi Talib, work a bath and offered eight 
rak'ats of prayer in thanksgiving for the victory Allah had 
granted to him. 299 

Equality Before Law 

Fatimah, a woman of Bani Makhzum, was in the 
meanwhile apprehended on the charge of theft. Her 
clansmen approached Usama b. Zayd in the hope that the 
Prophet being well-disposed towards him, he might be 
able to intercede with him for the woman. When Usama 
mentioned the matter to the Messenger, he found his 
expression completely altered. The Messenger said to 
Usama, "Do you speak to me about the bounds put by 
Allah?" Usama felt so ashamed that he beseeched the 
Messenger, "O Messenger of Allah, pray Allah to forgive 


296 Prophet Joseph 

297 Q. 12:92. 

298 Zad al-Ma'dd, Vol. I, p. 424. 

299 Bukhari, Chap. The Day of Victory; Zaid al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 
425. 


291 



me." In the evening, when the people had collected, the 
Messenger said after praising Allah. 

"The people before you were destroyed because 
they used to overlook when a highborn or a man of 
substance among them committed a theft, but when the 
poor or the weak did the same they chastised him as 
ordained by the law. I swear by Him Who holds my life 
that if Fatimah bint Muhammad (SAW) had committed 
theft I would have amputed her hand.” 

The Messenger ordered to cut off the right hand of 
the culprit. She is reported to have sincerely repented of 
her sin and led a normal life after marrying a man.^oo 

Glimpses of his Kindness to Enemies 

Now that the victory was complete, all the citizens 
of Makkah were granted amnesty. Only nine persons were 
condemned to death. Of these was one who had been 
guilty of apostasy after accepting Islam, another man had 
deceitfully killed a Muslim while a few others had been 
busy in crying down Islam and vilifying the Prophet: 
'Abdullah b. S'ad b. Abi Sarah had abandoned Islam. 
'Ikrima b. Abi Jahl so detested Islam that he had fled to 
Yemen. His wife embraced Islam and requested the 
Prophet to grant him immunity. 'Ikrima was the son of 
Abu Jahl, the greatest enemy of the Prophet, yet he was not 
only pardoned but when he came back to Makkah the 
Messenger accorded him a warm welcome. The Prophet 
rose to receive 'Ikrima in such a haste that his robe fell off 
his shoulders. 


30° Bukhari and Muslim. 


292 



The Prophet was well pleased to admit Tkrima in 
the fold of Islam. Accorded a place of honour among the 
Muslims, Ikrima distinguished himself by his deeds of 
valour in the battles fought with the Apostates and the 
Byzantines. 

One of these culprits was Wahshi, the slave of 
Jubayr b. Mut'im, who had killed the Prophet's uncle 
Hamza. The Messenger had condemned him to death but 
when he came to witness the truth in Allah and His 
Messenger, the Prophet accepted his allegiance. 

There was Habbar b. al-Aswad also who had 
attacked the Prophet's daughter Zaynab. She had fallen 
from her litter and had an abortion. Habbar had also fled 
from Makkah but when he came back to accept Islam, he 
was also forgiven by the merciful Prophet. Among those 
found guilty were two singing girls, Sarah and her friend, 
who used to sing satirical songs denigrating the 
Messenger. When an immunity was demanded for them, 
the Messenger pardoned their guilt and they 
acknowledged Islam.^oi 

Hind accepts Islam 

A large crowd of the citizens of Makkah assembled 
for being received in Islam. The Messenger came to Mount 
Safa, where, one alter another, the Makkans stepped up to 
take the oath of allegiance on the hands of the Prophet. 

After the men had pledged their faith the women 
came up to take the oath. Among them came the fury of 


301 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 425. 

293 



Uhud, Hind b. 'Utba, who was the wife of Abu Sufyan. She 
came veiled because of what she had done to Hamza. 

The Messenger said to her, "Take your oath that 
you would not associate anything with Allah." 
"By Allah", she replied, "you lay on us something that you 
have not laid on men." 

The Prophet said again, "And you shall not steal." 
Hind acknowledged, "1 used to take a little of Abu 
Sufyan's money but 1 do not know if it was lawful or not." 

Abu Sufyan was present on the occasion. He 
intervened to say, "So far as the past is concerned, there is 
no blame on you. It was lawful." The Messenger now 
recognised Hind and said, "Ah! You are Hind bint 'Utba !" 

Hind said in reply, "Yes, 1 am. Forgive me what is 
past and Allah will forgive you." 

The Messenger again said to her, "And, you shall 
not commit adultery." 

"Does a woman of noble birth commit adultery?" 
She enquired in reply. 

Ignoring her question, the Messenger further said, 
"And you shall not kill your children." 

Hind answered back, "We brought them up when 
they were young and you killed them when they were 
grown up. Now you and they should know better." 

The Messenger asked her again, "And you shall not 
utter slander about anybody." 

"By Allah", replied Hind, "slander is vile and 
shameful, it is better sometimes to ignore it." 


302 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 603. 


294 



Finally, the Messenger said to her, "And you shall 
not disobey me." 

"Yes", acknowledged Hind, but she added, "in 
matters virtuous.-'^os 

Inseparable Companions 

Allah had opened the gates of Makkah to the 
Prophet. It was the city of his birth as well as his ancestral 
home. Some of the Ansar said to one another that since 
Allah had given power to the Messenger over his 
homeland and the city, he might now remain there instead 
of going back to Madina. 

After a short while, the Messenger asked them 
what they were talking about. Now, nobody knew about 
their conversation. At first they would not tell, but 
ultimately they expressed regret and told him about the 
talk. Thereupon the Messenger said to them, "Allah forbid, 
1 will live and die with you." 

Sinner Turned into Saint 

Fadala b. 'Umayr wanted to kill the Messenger. He 
made up his mind to attack the Messenger when he would 
be busy in circumambulating the K'aba. When he drew 
near, the Messenger called out, "Fadala" to invite his 
attention. He replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." The 
Messenger then asked him, "What are you thinking 
about?" "Nothing", replied Fadala, "1 was recollecting 
Allah." The Messenger smiled and said, "Seek forgiveness 
from Allah," and at the same time he put his hand on 


303 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, pp. 602-3. 

304 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 416. 


295 



Faala's chest. His heart was at once set at ease and, as 
Fadala related later on, "The Messenger had not yet 
removed his hand from my chest that 1 found him dearer 
to my heart than every creature of Allah." Fadala further 
says, "Then 1 went back to my house and passed the 
woman with whom 1 used to converse. She asked me to sit 
down and talk with her, but 1 replied, "No, Allah and 
Islam do not permit it now."305 

All Traces of Paganism Erased 

The Messenger sent a few parties to destroy the 
idols installed in the city of Makkah and around it in the 
valley. All of them, including those of al-Lat and al-Uzza 
and Manat-us-Thalathatal Ukhra were broken to pieces. 
The Messenger then sent a crier to announce that every 
man who had faith in Allah and the hereafter should 
destroy his household idols. The Messenger also deputed 
some of his Companions to different tribes in the vicinity 
of Makkah who destroyed the idols with them. 

Jarir relates that a temple known as Dhul Khalasa 
existed during the time paganism prevailed in Arabia. 
Similarly, there were two more temples, one of these was 
al-K'abat-al-Yamaniyah and the other was al-K'abat-as- 
Shamiyah. The Messenger said to Jarir, "Why do you not 
give me rest with Dhul Khalasa?" Jarir promised and went 
with a hundred and fifty resolute horsemen of Ahmas^o^ 
and broke up the temple as well as killed those who were 


305 Ibn Hisam, Vol. II, p. 417; Zaid al-Ma'ad, Vol. L, p. 426. 

306 Ahmas (brave) is said to have been applied to Quraysh, 
Kinana, Jadila and Qays because of their horsemanship and 
bravery. 


296 



present in it. When Jarir returned and gave the report to 
the Prophet, he prayed for the Ahmas.^°^ 

Thereafter the Messenger assembled the Muslims 
and announced that Allah has made Makkah a sacred 
territory for ever. He said: "It is not lawful for anyone who 
believes in Allah and the hereafter to shed blood in the city 
or to cut down a tree. It was not permitted to anyone 
before me nor shall it be permitted to anyone after me." 
The Prophet then returned to Madina.^o® 

The Youthful Administrator 

The Messenger appointed 'Attab b. Usayd to look 
after the arrangements of the pilgrimage and other affairs 
of Makkah before leaving the city. Attab was then only 
twenty years of age. There were several other elder 
persons in Makkah, more experienced as well as 
prominent than 'Attab, but his selection by the Messenger 
of Allah showed that he entrusted responsibility to a 
person solely on the basis of his merit and capability. 
'Attab continued to hold that office during the period of 
Abu Bakr's caliphate.' 


307 Bukhari, Ghazwah Dhul Khalasa. 

308 Zan-al-M'aad, Vol. I, pp. 425-26. 

309 A1 Isabah and Usad al Ghaba. 

297 



BATTLE OF HUNAYN 


The resounding victory of the Muslims over the 
Quraysh and ever increasing conversions to Islam 
frightened the enemies of Islam out, of their senses. They 
made another attempt, as a last resort, to check the fast 
growing power and popularity of Islam but their effort 
was no more than lashing the waves in a vain expectation. 

Assemblage of the Hawazin 

Hawazin were the old enemies of the Quraysh; 
they regarded themselves as their rivals in power and 
prestige. The submission of the Quraysh to the rising 
power of Islam had made them undisputed champions of 
paganism; now they began to harbour hopes of winning 
the laurels by bringing the Muslims to their knees. They 
saw it a God-given opportunity to build up their fame on 
the declining prestige of the Quraysh. 

The Hawazin chief, Malik b. 'Auf al-Nasari 
declared war against the Muslims which was seconded by 
several other tribes like Thaqif, Nasr, Jushain and S'ad b. 
Bakr. Two clans of Hawazin, the K'ob and Kilab, kept 
away from Malik b. 'Auf, but the rest of the confederacy 
marshalled its forces to descend on the Prophet. They also 
took their cattle, women and children, staking everything 
on the issue of the battle, in order to ensure that every one 
would fight to the last and nobody would think of taking 
to his heels. 

An old veteran Durayd b. al-Simina, who was 
supposed to be wise in the art of warfare, also 
accompanied the Hawazin army which made camp at 

298 



Autast. 310 Their camp resounded with the groaning of 
camels and the braying of assess and the bleating of the 
sheep and goats and the crying of children. Malik 
instructed his men: "Break your scabbards as soon as the 
Muslims are in sight and then attack them as flue man."3ii 

The Messenger had with him two thousand 
Makkans, some of whom were recent converts while 
others had yet to accept Islam, along with the ten thousand 
troops he had brought from Madina. This was thus the 
strongest force mobilised so far to defend the honour of 
Islam. The Muslims were, naturally, overconfident because 
of their great strength while some even exultantly boasted 
that they could not be defeated now for want of 
numbers.312 

The Messenger borrowed on this occasion, some 
coats of mail and acmes from Safwan b. Umayyah 
although the latter was still a polytheist.' 

Not a Sign o£ Idolism 

The people of Makkah who had joined the 
Messenger in this battle were fresh from paganism. Now, 
in the days of pagan past, some tribes of Arabia used to 
venerate a great green tree known as Dhat-u-Anwat, under 
which they stayed for a day, suspended their weapon to its 
branches and offered sacrifices beneath it. When these men 
were going with the army they happened to pass by a big 
shady tree which reminded them of the past fetishism. 


310 A wadi near Ta'if, in the territory of Hawazin, where the 
battle of Hunayn was fought. 

311 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 437-39. 

312 Tafsir Tabari, Vol. X, pp. 63-64. 

299 



They immediately requested the Messenger: "Make us a 
tree as they used to have Dhat-u-Anwat, O Messenger of 
Allah." The Prophet replied, "Allah is Great! By Him Who 
holds my life in His hands, you say what the people of 
Moses said to him: Make for us a god, even as they have 
gods. He (Moses) said: Lo! you are a folk who know 
not." 313 The Messenger then added, "Verily, you would 
follow every custom of the people before you."3i4 

In the Wadi of Hunayn 

It was the 10th of Shawwal, 8 A.H., when the 
Muslim army reached Hunayn, descending the wadi in 
morning twilight, the enemy had already taken its position 
in the glens and hollows and craters of the valley. A volley 
of arrows was all that the Muslims saw of the enemy, then 
suddenly the enemy followed up the attack with full force. 
Hawazin were celebrated archers.3i3 

The sudden onslaught forced the Muslim flanks to 
fall back: "and they fled in terror, none heeding the other. 
The battle had taken a dangerous turn; a complete rout of 
the Muslims was in sight without any possibility of an 
orderly retreat or rallying of their forces again. Like the 
Uhud, when the rumour of the Messenger's death had 
disheartened the Muslims, the troops were once more 
driven to despair in Hunayn by a similar misgiving. 


313 Q.7:138. 

314 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 442. 
313 Ibid, pp. 442-43. 


300 



Rift Within the Lute 

Some of the rude fellows from Makkah who had 
joined the Muslim army but were still not strong enough in 
faith started talking in a way that let out their antipathy to 
Islam. One said, "Their flight will not stop before they get 
at the sea." Another man remarked. The spell of their 
sorcery has ended today."3i6 

Victory and Peace from Allah 

The Muslims had to suffer this defeat after the 
brilliant victory of Makkah as if by way of punishment for 
their reliance on numbers instead of the support from 
Allah. Their faith needed to be strengthened by a 
misadventure for they had to learn the lesson that both 
victory and defeat come from Allah; neither the one should 
make man exultant nor the other despondent. The 
Muslims were all over with their trepidation when the 
peace from Allah appeared to be descending on them and 
the Messenger. The Prophet had ah the while stood firm on 
his place, riding his white mule, without any fear or 
fidgets. Only a few of the Ansar and Muhajirin or his 
relatives were then with him. 'Abbas b. 'Abdul Muttalib 
was holding the bridle of his mule while Allah's 
Messenger was calling aloud: "Verily, 1 am the Prophet 
without falsehood; 1 am son of 'Abdul Muttalib. 

In the meanhme a detachment of the enemy 
advanced towards him. The Prophet took a handful of dust 
and threw it into their eyes. 


3“ Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 442-44. 

317 According to Bukhari Abu Sufyan b. Al-Harith was holding 
the briddle. 


301 



When the Messenger saw his men in confusion, he 
said, 'O 'Abbas call out, O Ansar, O comrades of the acacia 
tree."3i8 All those who heard the cry responded, "Here are 
we." 'Abbas had a loud voice. Whoever heard him calling 
got off from his camel and came to the Messenger. When 
sufficient number of men had gathered, they bore down 
upon the enemy. A combat between the two parties started 
afresh. The Messenger then took to a height along with 
some of his Companions. He saw the two sides grappled 
with one another. He said, "Now the battle has grown 
hot."319 He threw a few pebbles on the enemy. 'Abbas 
elates that he saw the enemy becoming slack (hereafter and 
losing the day to the Muslims.32o 

Both the armies fought bravely. However, before all 
those Muslims who had fled away had come back, the 
enemy was discomfited and a party of handcuffed 
prisoners was brought before the Messenger. 321 Allah 
helped the Messenger with the hosts of heaven to win the 
day and brought Hawazin to their knees.322 

"Allah has given you victory on many fields 
and on the day of Hunayn, when you exulted 
in your multitude but it availed you naught, 
and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for 
you; then you turned back in flight; 


313 Refers to the Companions who had taken the pledge of 
Rizwan at Hudaybia. 

319 Ibn Hisham, Vol. U, p. 445. 

320 Sahih Muslim. 

321 Q. 9:25-26. 

322 Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-}ihad, Ghazwa Hunayn. 

302 



"Then Allah sent His peace of reassurance 
down upon His messenger and upon the 
believers, and sent down hosts you could not 
see, and punished those who disbelieved. 
Such is the reward of disbelievers."323 

The Last Encounter 

The bitterness and rancor borne by the pagans 
against Islam melted away after the battle of Hunayn. The 
last stronghold of paganism was toppled down in this 
battle and no formidable opponent of Islam remained in 
Arabia. The remaining tribes streamed to Madina from 
every part of Arabia to put their trust in Allah and His 
Messenger. 

In Autas 

A group of the enemy put to rout fled to Ta'if and 
shut the gates of the city. The chief of Hawazin, Malik b. 
'Auf, was also with them. A detachment sent by the 
Messenger under Abu 'Amir al-Ash'ari overtook another 
party of the enemy encarmped at Autas, engaged it in a 
fight and routed it completely. 324 When the captives and 
spoils of Hunayn were brought to the Messenger he 
ordered them to be taken to Ji'rrana325 and kept in custody 
there.326 


Q. 9: 25-26. 

Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 460. 

An stopover on the road leading to north-east front Makkah. 
Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 459. 


303 



The captives of Hunayn numbered six thousand. 
The spoils included twenty-four thousand camels, forty 
thousand or more goats and four thousand awqiya of silver. 
This was the largest spoil which bad fallen so far into the 
hands of the Muslims. 

The Messenger had given orders to the troops, 
before the battle started, not to lift their hands against 
women, children, men hired for non-combatant purposes 
and the slaves. A woman was, however, killed in the 
battle. The Messenger expressed regret when the matter 
was brought to his notice.^^y 


327 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 638. 


304 



THE BATTLE OF TA'IF 


Fugitives of Thaqif 

The warriors of Thaqif escaping from Hunayn 
returned to Ta'if. They closed the gates of the city after 
storing stocks of food to suffice for a year. Thus, they got 
ready to give battle to the Muslims. 

The Prophet went at once to Ta'if. After pitching 
his camp outside the city, he set about besieging it in order 
to humble the enemy. The siege dragged on for some time, 
but the Muslims were unable to enter Ta'if whose 
approaches had already been blocked up by the defenders. 
Thaqif were good archers. The thick volley of arrows 
discharged by the enemy appeared like the swarms of 
locusts. 

Siege of Ta'if 

As the Muslims' camp was within the range of the 
arrows shot from the ramparts of Ta'if, the Messenger 
moved his camp to another side of the city. The siege 
continued for some, twenty- five to thirty nights during 
which the two sides fought tooth and nail to get the better 
of one another and exchanged valleys of arrows. The 
Prophet used, for the first time, catapults in the siege of 
Ta'if whose ingress and egress were completely stopped. 
The arrows shot by the enemy took its toll of the lives of 
several Muslims.^^s 


328 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 478-83. 

305 



Kindness in the Battlefield 

When the siege did not have the desired effect, the 
Messenger threatened to cut down the vineyards of Thaqif. 
The enemy was extremely perturbed for its economy 
depended on the fine quality of grapes grown in these 
vineyards. The Thaqif begged the Prophet in the name of 
Allah and their relationship to him to spare their 
cultivations. Taking pity on the enemy, the Messenger 
said, "Certainly, 1 leave it to Allah and kinship between 
us." 

The Messenger got an announcement made that if 
any slave of the Thaqif came to him from the city, he 
would be set free. Among the ten or more slaves who 
deserted Ta'if, one was Abu Bakrah. Later on he 
distinguished himself by his deep knowledge of 
Traditions. The Prophet freed all of them and asked the 
Muslims to take care of their needs. However, the people 
of Ta'if felt very sore on the desertion of their slaves.329 

The Siege Raised 

Allah had not willed the fall of Ta'if. 'Umar was 
asked by the Messenger to announce the raising of the 
siege and return of the army. Feeling disappointed, some 
of the people raised outcry at the sudden order of retreat. 
They said, "Shall we go back without reducing Ta'if?" The 
Messenger replied, "Allright, mount an attack. They bore 
down on the enemy but were repulsed with losses. Then 
the Messenger said, "Allah willing, we shall return very 
soon.' The people now felt relieved and started making 


229 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p . 457 (on the authority of Ibn Ish'aq). 

306 



preparations for breaking the camp. The Prophet smiled 
when he saw them returning.^^o 

The Spoils of Hunayn 

On his way back from Ta'if, the Messenger stayed 
over at J'irrana with his men. He intended to give an 
opportunity to the Hawazin to make amends by calling 
upon him and accepting Islam. Thereafter, he distributed 
the spoils. The Messenger gave out first to those whose 
hearts were to be won. Abu Sufyan and his two sons Yazid 
and Mu'awiya were doled out handsome gifts. Hakim b. 
al-Hizam, Nadr b. al-Harith, 'Ala' b. al-Haritha and other 
Qurayshite leaders were treated generously and then every 
man in the army was awarded his share of the spoils.^^i 

Love for Ansar and their Selflessness 

A large portion of the spoils was given out by the 
Prophet to the Quraysh who had to be conciliated to Islam 
while the Ansar got a petty share. Some of the young men 
among the Ansar aired their grievance at the meager gifts 
made over to them. The Messenger ordered the Ansar to 
assemble in an enclosure. Then he gave tongue to an 
extremely moving speech which tugged at the heartstrings 
of the Ansar and brought them on the edge of tears. 

The Messenger said, "Did 1 not come to you when 
you were aberrant and Allah guided you through me; you 
were poor and Allah made you rich; you were divided and 
He softened your hearts to unite?" 


330 Ibid. 

331 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 448. Also see Bukhari and Muslim, 
Ghazwa Ta'if. 


307 



The Ansar replied, "Yes, indeed, Allah and His 
Messenger are most kind and generous." 

The Messenger again asked them, "O Ansar, why 
don't you answer me?" 

They said, "What answer can we give! 
O Messenger of Allah. Kindness and generosity belong to 
Allah and His Messenger." 

The Messenger continued, "Had you wished, you 
could have said —and verily you would have spoken the 
truth and 1 would have acknowledged if you had replied — 
You came discredited and we believed you; you came 
deserted and we helped you; you were fugitive and we 
gave you shelter; you were poor and we comforted you." 

The Messenger then turned to speak out something 
which spoke of the love he had for the Ansar and, at the 
same time, explained the reason for differentiation in 
giving out the gifts. He said, "Do you have some 
misgivings about me, O Ansar, because of what 1 have 
given to them for the short-lived bloom of this life by 
which they may become Muslims while 1 have entrusted 
you to Islam?" The Messenger then posed a question 
which inflamed the Ansar with the love of the Prophet. He 
asked, 

"O Ansar, are you not satisfied that these men should take 
away sheep and goats while you go back with the 
Messenger of Allah? By Him Who has the life of 
Muhammad (peace be upon him) in His hand, what you 
take back with you would be better than the things with 
which they would return. Had there been no migration, 1 
would have been one of the Ansar myself. If all the people 
go one way in a wadi and the Ansar take another, 1 would 

308 



take the way of the Ansar. Ansar are the undergarment 
and others are overgarments. O Allah, have mercy on the 
Ansar, their sons and their sons' sons." 

All the Ansar wept until tears ran down their 
beards as they said, "We are satisfied and happy that the 
Messenger of Allah falls to our lot." 

Captives Released 

A deputation of the Hawazin consisting of fourteen 
persons called upon the Messenger. They requested him to 
take pity on them and return their kinsmen and property. 
The Messenger replied, "You see the people accompanying 
me. What 1 like best is that you come out with the truth. 
Now tell me, which of the two is dearer to you? Your 
children and your women or your property?" 

They replied with one voice, "We treasure nothing 
more than our children and women." 

Now, the Messenger advised them, "Tomorrow 
morning when 1 have finished the prayer you get up and 
say: We ask the Messenger's intercession with the 
Muslims, and the Muslims' intercession with the 
Messenger that our children and women be returned to 
us." When they did as told by the Messenger he gave the 
reply, "Whatever was apportioned to me and the Bani 
'Abdul Muttalib is yours. To others 1 make a 
recommendation for you." Thereupon the Muhajirin and 
the Ansar said. "Whatever share has been given to us is 
passed on to the Messenger." 

Three persons belonging to Bani Tamim, Bani 
Fazara and Bani Sulaym refused to part with their shares. 
The Prophet said to them, "These fellows have come after 


309 



accepting Islam. I awaited their arrival and gave them a 
choice but they preferred nothing over their women and 
children. Now, if anybody has serfs whom he wants to 
donate cheerfully, the way is open to him. But if anybody 
does not want to do so, he may refuse. He who holds a 
right t such captives shall be given six shares in lieu of each 
from the first booty Allah grants us." 

Everyone replied, "We give back out' shares 
cheerfully for the Messenger's sake." The Prophet, 
however, said, "I do not know who among, you is 
contented and who is not. You go back now and your 
chiefs will tell me correctly about your affairs." All of hem 
returned the captives, women and children, and not one of 
them decided to retain his share. The Prophet also gifted 
out a garment to every released captive. 332 

Loving kindness 

Among the captives rounded up during the battle, 
the Muslims took Shayma' hint Halima S'adiya also into 
custody. The men taking her captive did not know her and 
although she told them that she was the foster-sister of the 
Messenger, they did not pay any heed to her and treated 
her roughly. 

When Shayma' was produced before the Messenger 
she said, "O Prophet of Allah, I am your foster-sister." The 
Messenger asked for proof and she replied, "The bite you 
gave me in my back when I carried you at my hip. The 
mark is still there." The Messenger accepted the proof and 
stretched out his robe for her to sit on and treated her 


332 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 449, Bukhari. 

310 



courteously. He gave her the choice of living with him in 
affection and honour or going back to her people with 
presents. She chose to go back to her tribe. She accepted 
Islam and the Prophet gave her three bondsmen, a slave 
girl and some goats.333 

The Lesser Pilgrimage 

After distributing the spoils and captives at Jirraria, 

the Messenger put on the_for performing the lesser 

pilgrimage for this was the place, from where the people 
going for pilgrim age to Makkah from Ta'if changed into 
ihrani. Having completed the lesser pilgrimage the 
Messenger returned to Madina.334 

The Messenger came back to Madina in DhiQ'ada, 
8 A.H.335 

While the forces were returning from Ta'if, the 
Messenger of Allah asked the men to recite: "We are those 
who revert and repent and worship and glorify our Lord." 
Some of the people then asked the Prophet to call down 
evil on Thaqif. The Messenger raised his hands to entreat, 
"O Allah! Guide Thaqif on the right path and bring them 
here.' 

'Urwa b. Mas'iid al-Thaqafi met the Messenger 
while he was on his way back to Madina. He embraced 
Islam and returned to his people for inviting them to 
Islam. He was very popular and enjoyed the esteem of his 
clansmen but when he broke the news that he had 


333 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 449. 

334 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 500. 

335 Bukhari (Dhi Q'ada is the 11th month of Islamic Calendar). 

311 



accepted Islam, the people turned against him. They shot 
arrows at him from all directions; one hit him and he died. 

The Thaqif held out for a few months after killing 
'Urwa but after taking counsel among them they reached 
the conclusion that it would be beyond their power to fight 
all those tribes which had already taken the oath of 
allegiance at the hands of the Messenger. Ultimately they 
decided to send a deputation to the Messenger. 

No Complaisance to Idolatry 

When the deputation of Thaqif came to Madina a 
tent was pitched for them in the Prophet's mosque. They 
requested the Messenger not to destroy their chief deity, 
the idol of al-Lat, for three years. The Messenger refused; 
then they continued to reduce the period by one year, but 
the Messenger remained firm in refusing their request 
until they finally asked for a period of one month after 
they had returned to their homes. The Messenger again 
rejected their request and ordered Abu Sufyan and 
Mughira b. Sh'uba al-Thaqafi to destroy al-Lat. Thereafter 
the Thaqif asked the Prophet that they might be excused 
from offering prayers. To this the Messenger replied, 
"Nothing remains of a religion which has no prayer." 

Abu Sufyan and Mughira b. Sh'uba accompanied 
the deputation of Thaqif when they returned to Ta'if. 
Mughira smote al-Lat with a pickaxe and broke it into 
pieces. Thereupon the people of Ta'if accepted Islam; not 
one of them remained attached to paganism.^se 


336 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, pp. 458-59. 

312 



The Expedition to Tabuk^^^ 

Some of the tribes still suffered from the: delusion 
that the rise of Islam was transient like a cloudburst, whose 
tide would be stemmed before long. It was but necessary 
to warn or even threaten such people before they utilized 
an opportunity to clench their fist at the Muslims. The 
expedition of Tabuk had the desired effect on such 
lukewarm tribes much in the same way as the conquest of 
Makkah had gone a long way in clearing away the clouds 
of opposition. This expedition against the Byzantine 
Empire whose might and magnificence was well known to 
the Arabs, virtually meant that the Muslims were ready to. 
fling down the gauntlet even to the greatest power of the 
day. In what esteem did the Arabs regard the Byzantines, 
whom they called Romans, is well illustrated by the 
remark made by Aba Sufyan after he had seen Heraclius 
rendering honour to the Messenger's letter sent through 
Dihya b. Khalifa al-Kalbi. He had heard Heraclius saying 

Tabuk is half-way between Madina and Damascus lying to 
the south e.g. of Aylah, the biblical Elath or 'Aqabah. Yaqut 
writes, quoting Abu Zayd, in the M'ojam al-Bulddn that Tabuk is 
the fourth destination on the road from Hijr to Syria. It is 
reported that the Prophet Shu'eyb was sent to the people living 
there. Tabuk is at a distance of six days journey from the Red 
sea and lies between two mountains known as Hismy and 
Shibravi (Da'tralul Ma'drif lil-Bustani). It is now a military 
cantonment in the district of Madina at a distance of 700 Km., 
from it. 


313 



that he, too, expected a prophet to be born. Abu Sufyan 
had then got up, as he related later on, rubbing his hands 
and shying that the affair of Ibn Abi Kabsha' (i. e. the 
Prophet) had become so great that the King of the Romans 
dreaded him. Abu Sufyan further says that he was then 
convinced that the Messenger would ultimately emerge 
victorious and this was how Islam took root in his heart.^^^ 
The Arabs could not then dream of attacking the 
Byzantine Empire; they themselves feared Byzantine 
invasion or rather did not rate themselves so high as to be 
coveted by any great power. Whenever the Muslims of 
Madina were attended with a grave danger or their safety 
was imperiled, the most they could think of was to seek 
the aid of Gassanid King who was a ply larch of East Syria 
under the Caesar. What 'Umar said during the affair of 
Aylah, which took place in the beginning of 8 AH, throws 
sufficient light on the state of affairs in those days. He says 
that he had an Ansari friend with whom he had arranged 
that one of them should alternately remain in attendance 
upon the Prophet and inform the other about the incidents 
happening in his absence. 'Umar further says that in those 
days they were alarmed by a rumour that the Gassanid 
King intended to invade Madina and were thus constantly 
agitated by it. Once, when his Ansari friend came to his 
house and knocked at his door asking to open it, 'Umar 
enquired of his friend if the Gassanids had attacked 
Madina.339 


338 Bukhari. 

339 Bukhari and Muslim. 

314 



The Byzantine star was in the ascendant in those 
days. Its armies had, under Heraclius, dealt a death below 
to the Iranian forces and carried their arms to the Iranian 
capital. The glorious victory was celebrated by the 
Emperor's stately march from Hims^^o to Ayleh^^i in the 
seventh year of the hijrah. Heraclius himself carried, in the 
guise of a penitent pilgrim, the True Cross retrieved from 
the Persians while carpets were spread and rose water 
sprinkled beneath his fees all over the path by the people 
who went forth to meet their hero with tears and 
acclamations. 342 Hardly two years had passed after this 
splendid victory won by the Emperor of the Romans, when 
the Messenger led an army to face him. The Messenger's 
daring venture made such a deep impression on the minds 
of the Arabs that it would be no exaggeration to claim that 
the expedition of Tabiik served as a prelude to the 
conquest of Syria during the reign of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. 
The expedition of Tabiik really applied the match to the 
train of victories which eventually made the Muslims 
masters of Syria. 

What was the genesis of this expedition? It is 
related that the Messenger got reports of Byzantine forces 
converging on the northern frontiers of Arabia with the 
intention of mounting an attack on the Muslims. Ibn S'ad 
and Waqidi are on record that the Messenger was 
informed by the Nabataeans that Heraclius was after 
stocking one year's provisions for his army and drafting 


340 Emessa or Edessa. 

341 Elatb or 'Aqabah. 

342 Muslim, Kitab ul-Jihad. 


315 



the pro-Byzantine tribes of the Lakhm, Judham, 'Amla and 
Ghassan under his banner, intending to come upon him 
and that his advance columns had already reached 

Balqa'd^s 

Even if we ignore this report, it can hardly be 
gainsaid that the purpose of the expedition was to strike 
terror into the neighbouring power which was a potential 
source of danger to the rising power of Islam. The 
Messenger intended to forewarn the Byzantines that they 
should not consider the Muslims weak nor should they 
take any precipitate action to violate their territorial 
sovereignty. The expedition was thus a warning sign since 
one without enough strength could dare not shake one's 
fist at a great power nor could one take the risk of 
descending on its borders. It is certain, -at all events, that 
the true purpose of the expedition was what the revelation 
in this connection has explained in these words: 

'O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers 
who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, 
and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty 
(unto Him)."344 

This objective was more than achieved as was 
subsequently borne out by the far-reaching consequences 
of the expedition. No retaliatory action was taken nor any 
detachments were moved to their borders by the 
Byzantines to drive-back the Muslim army. The Emperor, 
exhausted by his Persian campaigns, remained an 
impotent spectator to the raid on his confederate border 


Al-Zurqani, Commentary on Al-Mawahib, Vol. Ill, pp. 63-64. 
344 Q. 9:123. 


316 



tribes or perhaps he thought it fit to wait and see before 
taking up the cudgels against the new power rising in the 
East. 

The pro-Byzantine Christian tribes in northern 
Arabia were impressed by the first rattle of the new 
Arabian power. This was a great advantage accruing from 
the expedition of Tabiik for it made these tribes shift their 
allegiance from Constantinople to Madina which 
eventually led them to the acceptance of the religious 
aspect of the Islamic power. The expedition also went a 
long way to drive home the reality that the rise of Islam 
was not meteoric, fated to burst like a bubble, as some of 
the Arabs had been thinking hitherto, but that it was solid 
as a rock with a great future lying ahead of it. In fact, 
severance of the ties between these border tribes and the 
Byzantium was a condition precedent before they could 
pay attention to Islam, the new source of power and 
strength to them which was taking roots and raising its 
head in their own homeland. The divine revelation, too, 
makes an allusion to this aspect of the expedition in a verse 
Surah at-Taubah. 

"Nor step they any step that angereth the 
disbelievers, nor gain they from the enemy a gain, but a 
good deed is recorded for them therefore."345 

The battle of Mu'ta was still fresh in the minds of 
the Byzantines who had failed to humble the Muslim army 
in spite of their vastly superior numbers. The Muslims, on 
the other hand, having once measured swords with the 


345 Q. 9:120. 


317 



Byzantines, had overcome their traditional terror of the 
impregnable Roman legions. 

In short, the expedition of Tabiik was a landmark in 
the life of the Prophet as well as in the onward march of 
the Islamic mission for it had a far-reaching effect on the 
future course of events leading to the glorious conquests of 
Islam gestating in the womb of time. 

The Time of Expedition 

The Tabiik campaign was undertaken in the month 
of Rajah, 9 A. H. It was the time when the date crop had 
ripened and shade of the trees was pleasant. The 
Messenger undertook a long journey for the Tabiik 
expedition and traversed deserts and arid plains to face an 
enemy vastly superior in numbers. As the Muslims were 
then passing through a period of drought, the Messenger 
told the Companions before hand, unlike previous 
occasions, that he intended to make for the Byzantines so 
that they might make suitable preparations.^^s 

The hypocrites fell out on different pretexts. They 
either disliked strenuous war against the powerful enemy 
or disliked to go out in the oppressive heat. They even 
doubted the truth and had little interest in lighting (in the 
sake of Allah, so they remained front accompanying the 
Messenger on this occasion. Such disaffected persons were 
admonished by Allah in this wise : 

"Those who were left behind rejoiced at 
sitting still behind the messenger of Allah, 
and were averse to striving with their wealth 


Sahihain, on the authority of K'ab b. Malik. 

318 



and their lives in Allah's way. And they said ; 

Go not forth in the heat! Say : The heat of hell 
is more intense of heat, if they but 
understood.^'^^ 

Enthusiasm of the Muslims 

The Messenger took particular care to make 
preparations for time expedition. He urged upon the 
affluent Companions to donate handsomely for the 
campaign with the result that many a well-to-do 
companion made lavish contributions for it. 'Uthman 
spent one thousand dinars on the force known as the 
brigade of distress or Jaish al-'Usr and the Messenger 
invoked Allah's blessings for him. A number of 
Companions who were unable to raise money for their 
mounts, requested the Messenger to arrange the same for 
them. As, however, their requests could not be met for 
want of funds, the Messenger expressed his inability to 
comply with their request and they had to go back 
disconsolate and disheartened. Some of them were so 
sorrow-stricken and depressed that Allah sent down the 
revelation exempting them from time duty of joining the 
expedition: 

"Nor unto those (is any blame) whom, when they 
came to you (asking) that thou shouldst mount them, thou 
didst tell: I cannot find whereon to mount you. They 
turned back with eyes flowing with tears, for sorrow that 
they could not find the means to spend."348 


347Q.9:81. 
348 Q. 9:92. 


319 



There were still others who could not make up 
their mind to participate in the campaign although their 
indecision was not because of any doubt or misgiving. 

Army's Departure for Tabuk 

The Messenger set out for Tabiik with an army 
30,000 strong from Madina. In no other drive, earlier to 
Tab-uk, such a large number of persons had shouldered 
arms; Before the departure, the Messenger ordered the 
men to pitch their camp at Thaniyatul-Wada'. He put 
Muhammad b. Maslama al-Ansari in charge of Madina 
and left behind 'All to look after his family. When Ali 
complained to the Messenger that the hypocrites were 
going about spreading false rumours about him, he 
replied, "Are you not content, 'Ali, that you are to me as 
Haroon349 was to Miita'^™, except that-there wilt be no 
prophet after me?"^^! 

When the Messenger made camp in al-Hijr, the 
land of Thamiid, he told the Companions that it was the 
country of those who were being tortured for their sins. He 
said, "If you enter the houses of those who did wrong to 
themselves, enter tearfully with the fear that you may also 
meet the same fate that befell them."352 instructed 

his men, "Do not drink any of its water nor use it for 
ablutions. If you have used any for dough, then feed it to 
camels and eat none of it." 


349 Aaron. 

350 Moses. 

331 Bukhari, Gazwah Tabuk. 

352 Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. II, pp. 3-4; Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 522. 

320 



The journey was extremely arduous; scarcity of 
water added to the misery of the army. When the people 
complained to the Messenger about their distress, he 
prayed to Allah and a cloud came down in torrents until 
every man had quenched his thirst and stored enough 
water to meet his needs.' 

Demoralised Hypocrites 

Some of the hypocrites kept company with the 
Messenger. While the Muslim army was getting along to 
Tabiik, one of them said to another, but alluding to the 
Messenger, "Do you think that the executioners of the 
Romans will deal with you in the same way as the Arabs 
do? By Allah, we seem to see you bound 

with ropes tomorrow. 

Treaty of Peace with Aylah's Ruler 

Yuhanna b. Ru'ba, the governor of Aylah called 
upon the Messenger at Tabik. Yuhanna made a treaty of 
peace and also paid the poll-tax. So did the people of Jarba' 
and Adhruh, and they were all granted peace as well as a 
guarantee to the safety of their territory and their ships 
and caravans by land and sea. The treaties were got 
written by the Messenger and delivered to the parties. The 
Messenger received Yuhanna cordially showing him due 

respect. 354 


353 Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 522. 

354 Ibid., page 522. 


321 



Back to Madina 

Byzantium did not stir. When the Messenger saw 
that there was no movement of troops by the enemy who 
seemed to have abandoned the border towns, he gave 
orders for the return march. The objective of the expedition 
having been achieved, the Prophet did not consider it 
necessary to advance further in the enemy territory to 
carry on hostilities. Only a Christian chief, Ukaydir b. 
'Abdul Malik, who was the ruler of Diimatul JandaP^s and 
enjoyed the patronage of the Byzantines, was reported to 
he harbouring hostile designs. The Messenger sent Khalid 
with five hundred troops who captured Ukaydir and 
brought him to the Messenger. The Prophet, however, 
spared his life on the condition that he surrendered 
unconditionally and agreed to pay the poll-tax.^s^ 

After staying for a few nights in Tabuk, the 
Messenger returned to Madina.'^^^ 


Diimatul Jandal was a populous town near Tabuk where the 
Arabs used to go for transacting business in olden times. Diima 
had been forsaken and was deserted when Ukaydir again 
developed the town and started olive plantations. The town 
thus regained its past importance. The place enclosed by a 
surrounding wall had a strong fort which made it an important 
outpost at the northern border. The town was populated chiefly 
by the tribe of Kalab and Ukaybir was known as the king of the 
town. He professed Christianity. 

Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 526. 

357 Ibid., p. 527. 


322 



CONCLUSION 


Through the brief description of the painful events 
the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had to face 
throughout his life, it becomes abundantly evident that he 
lived a life full of tragic events.Each one of those sad 
events is so heavy which might have shatter to pieces even 
the persons of greater courage and firm resolve. The 
number of the heavier sad events in his life exceeds eighty. 
In other words,not even a single year of the Holy Prophet's 
life is free from a shaking trajic event.lt would be too hard 
to find another person of such a high courage and resolve. 
But he bravely endured them all with unflinching courage 
and prophetic fortitude. Here is a citation from Maulana 
Abdul Majid Daryabadi which seeks to highlight this 
unique characteristic of the Prophet (PBUH) in his own 
specific literary style. 

"Admittedly,all the Prophets of Allah and all those 
who rose with an intention to reform the decaying human 
society and bring spiritual upliftment to the human beings 
by delivering them from the darkness of disbelief to the 
light of faith and belief in Allah ta'ala, the Creator of the 
entire universe,there is absolutely none who escaped 
unscathed without facing a wider variety of savage 
cruelties on the part of their addressees.They were 
invariably accorded the most cruel and inhuman 
treatment,and had to bear with all kinds of unkind taunts 
and extremely insulting remarks from those to whom 
those Prophets were sent.But besides the sufferings of the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) other Prophets' sufferings 


323 



pale into insignificance without doubt. He received abuses 
and heart- rending taunts from every type of people 
belonging to the lowest grades of his contemporary human 
society from across different tribes of the then People 
hardly have patience to endure the hardships they 
encounter.But the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) patiently 
bore all his sufferings and hardships without uttering even 
a single word of complaint.He faced a tough social and 
human boycott from his own people and underwent a 
highly inhuman state of starvation and privations.His 
Companions and sincere friends had to endure all sorts of 
sufferings and hardships at the hands of their ideological 
adversaries. In the entire history of mankind no Prophet 
was ever subjected to such an inhuman, disgraceful, 
tormenting and demeaning treatment as was subjected the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

Beyond count and measure peace and mercy be 
upon Muhammad, who offered the best example for all 
classes of human beings and who satisfied all sorts of 
human beings by his living example he left in all walks of 
human life,whose being provided an abiding satisfaction 
and healing touch to the poor, the aged, the sick, the 
dejected,the grief- striken. 

Be peace upon whom who was the most kind even to his 
adversaries, 

Who prayed and remained sincere even after receiving 
much abuses. 


324 



CHAPTER FIVE 


WORLDWIDE REVOLUTION 


MUHAMMAD (PEACE AND 
BLESSINGS OF ALLAH 
BE UPON HIM) AS THE PROPHET 
OF REVOLUTION 



It is He who sent His Messenger with 
guidance and the religion of truth to manifest 
it over all religion. And sufficient is Allah as 
Witness. 


Muhammad (SAW) as the Prophet of Revolution 


325 



The following verse establishes this fact beyond 
any shade of doubt that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 
is the only Prophet who could bring the most perfect and 
all- embracing revolution to the world and changed the 
human destiny for ever. 

It is He Who has sent His Messenger with 
Guidance and the Religion of Truth (Islam), that He may 
make it (Islam) superior over all religions. And All- 
Sufficient is Allah as a Witness, (al- Fath:28) 

The life of the Prophet (PBUH) is so perfect and 
versatile in all respects of human character. This fact of his 
life renders it extremely difficult to distinguish between 
different aspects of his life in terms of perfection. In his 
person he combined the perfections of all other Prophets 
and Messengers. A careful and deeper study of the 
perfections of all other Prophets and Messengers leads us 
to recognize the fact that all such perfections and higher 
morals might be classified under four broad categories. 
That is, knowledge, practical assimilation of that 
knowledge, splendid and majestic appearance; and beauty. 
According to my study the perfections of all the Prophets 
and distinguishing features of their characters might be 
summed up well in these four traits. Notably, all these four 
comprehensive traits of character have hardly been found 
in the character of any single Prophet or Messenger. Some 
have been the embodiment of majesty and grandeur,others 
were gifted with beauty. The character of some others 
epitomised the knowledge,there are still others who were 
used by Allah ta'ala to be a manifestation of His 
Omnipotence and All- Powerfulness. Precisely 


326 



speaking,each flower possesses a flavour and the colour 
specific to its own entity. 

Knowledge and its practical manifestations 

In this context the knowledge and its practical 
manifestations obviously do not signify the sphere of 
knowledge pertaining to the Divine Law to be carved out 
to lay down the rules governing the human conduct. Nor 
is meant the area of knowledge which is about the natural 
rules governing the creation under the direct command of 
its Omnipotent Creator. The latter sphere of knowledge is 
exclusive to Allah ta'ala alone. As regards the former area 
of knowledge, every Prophet is undeniably granted by 
Allah ta'ala a fuller knowledge of this and he must excel all 
others of his followers in this domain of knowledge. As of 
the practical manifestations of this religious knowledge, 
each and every Prophet of Allah had been an embodiment 
of the religious virtues,far too away from sins and all 
moral evils. By their practical lives the Prophets of Allah 
have been a perfect example of virtue and offered the 
practical standards of a superlatively high human conduct 
to their people's. Knowledge and its practical 
manifestations in human conduct and morality, in this 
context,refer only to that kind of knowledge and its 
practical performance which form part of Prophetic nature 
and temperament. This kind of knowledge and its practical 
manifestations are not to be seen as an independent entity; 
it, rather, is found permeating across the entire body of the 
teachings the Prophets introduce to their addressees the 
way the sugar goes down the sweet drink. With no 
separate background, this knowledge and its practical 


327 



manifestations can not be separated from their noble 
teachings. Through a deeper study of the Prophets' lives a 
prudent and discreet historian may, however, feel quite 
consciously which Prophet's teachings and miracles are the 
manifestation of knowledge and which one show the 
dominance of the practical manifestations. 

Religions of the past have been bereft of intellectual 
revolution 

Judged from this standpoint, the majority of the 
Prophets of Allah are seen to be the epitome of the act and 
practice, with little care to the aspect of knowledge. 
Prophet Muhammad's life, in sharp contrast, offers a 
perfect blend of both knowledge and practice at once. 

Insights into the wisdom and philosophy of the 
Divine commands 

To illustrate the point,take, for example, the 
Tauraat and the Injeel, the heavenly Scriptures revealed 
to Musa and Issa (peace and blessings be upon them) 
respectively. Regardless of the fact that they, like all other 
heavenly-revealed scriptures excepting the Qur'an, have 
been subjected to repeated attempts at their textual as well 
as interpretive interpolations on the part of their so-called 
followers, their existing bodies contain a very good deal of 
the commands and Divine injunctions governing the 
concept and practice of the ritual purity,devotions, society 
and the situations of war and peace, etc. But, strangely 
enough,we hardly find any mention there in connection 
with the wisdom and philosophy underlying those 
commands and injunctions. We believe that those 
Messengers and the Prophets were granted the knowledge 
of the philosophy and wisdom of the commands and 

328 



injunctions of their Sharias. But the point to be made here 
is that the knowledge which is being talked about here is 
not with reference to the personal knowledge of those 
great respectable representatives of Allah ta'ala. It is 
absolutely about the knowledge and the guidance they 
imparted to their peoples and followers. The non-existence 
of such knowledge in their religious scriptures and the 
teachings makes little difference to the practical life of their 
followers, and hardly affects the practical sphere of their 
lives. The function of the wisdom and philosophy of the 
Divine Law and injunctions does not exceed that it gives 
impetus to the believing followers' thinking faculties. As a 
result,they take the religious commands and the Divine 
injunctions more deeply and a renewed activism. 
Contrastingly, the study of the Qur'an reveals that there is 
hardly any command or injunction addressed to mankind 
whose wisdom has not been mentioned there. While 
introducing a law to the people the Qur'an, first of all, 
prepares the believers mentally and intellectually by 
pointing to the wisdom underscoring that command. This 
in order to bring both the heart and brain into submission 
and place the human spirit under the command of intellect 
and. reason. Much as it is the heart which is the dominant 
and rules over the entire being of the human,in situations 
of tension between the heart and intellect the reason and 
intellect seldom leaves the heart alone. To the same reality 
Iqbal the poet has pointed in his following poetical lines: 

Love jumped into the fire of Nimrod, carefree, fearless. 

While the reason still continues to spectate the event. 


329 



Good though is to keep the heart under the command of 

reason. 

Yet, at times, let it work alone, unrestricted by the 
dictates of reason. 

Need for Knowledge 

However, equally possible being that sometimes 
there may arise a situation when reason,under special 
circumstances, may get a complete environment of 
rationality and rationalism. Under such situations the 
reason may dominate the the heart and conscience. Present 
age, for example, is marked by sheer rationalism. In such 
age it is quite inconceivable to live a life independent of 
the rule of reason over the heart. Since it was Islam itself 
which initiated the age of reason and science,it was quite 
necessary that, side by side filling the hearts of people with 
satisfaction and content, the reason, too, be guided along 
the lines of faith in the Unseen Realities, bringing it to 
submit readily to the Power of the Creator, the Ultimate 
Reality. Towards this purpose no better way was ever 
possible than to making mention of the underlying 
wisdom of the commands addressed to the human hearts. 
This is with the view to render a Muslim subservient to the 
Divine ordainments both physically and intellectually. Our 
emphasis on the rational interpretation of the Divine 
commands and injunctions must not be construed as 
seeing the reason to be a touchstone of judging the validity 
of the injunctions of the Shari'ah. As far as the commands 
of the Sharia are concerned,they are to be followed as such, 
in the full spirit of submission and total obedience to Allah 
ta'ala, without judging them from the reasoal and 


330 



intellectual standpoint. To be more precise, the role of 
reason in this respect does not exceed to be of an assistant. 
A believer as such is required to submit to the will of the 
Law-Giver in all matters of faith and the injunctions 
governing the practical sphere of his life, regardless of that 
those injunctions are rationally comprehensible or not. The 
majority of the commands and injunctions of the Sharia, 
however, are easily explainable in terms of reason and 
extents of human understanding. The rational explanations 
of most of the Qur'anic commands and injunctions offered 
by the Qur'an undoubtedly satisfies the reason and offer 
the satisfactory answer to the most of the questions arising 
out of the so-called rationalism of the age we are living in. 
Such rational explanations may shield the faith and belief 
against heresy and disbelief. Guarding the faith and belief 
is doubtlessly is the most urgent need of every and each 
man of faith in Islam, irrespective of the nature of the arm 
which may differ from age to age. To this point the Qur'an 
has been careful. In order to protect the faith it mentioned 
the wisdom and philosophy lying behind most of its 
commands, injunctions and prohibitions. To elaborate the 
point,following examples may be sufficient. 

While giving the command of salaat (Prayer) the 
Qur'an explained its wisdom that,among other great 
benefits the salaat carries,it forbids indecency and evil. To 
quote the words of the Qur'an: 

Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al- 
Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual 
intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, 
and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.)[] and the 
remembering[] (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of 

331 



the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering 
(praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.]. And Allah knows 
what you do. (Al- Qur'an, 29:45) 

Quite obviously, no society could ever attain 
spiritual and moral rectitude unless it disroots evil from its 
within and build itself on the remembrance of Allah ta'ala. 
The salaat, therefore, is essential for every society. 

2. The Qur'an prohibited the consumption of wine 
and the games of chance. It, in the same breath, explained 
the reason of this prohibition in the following words: 

They ask you concerning wine and gambling. 
Say:"ln them is great sin, and some profit for men; but their 
sin is greater than their profit." (Al-Qur'an,2:219) 

At another place the wine and gambling have been 
decried as devilish and evil deeds. This doubtlessly is 
meant to place hate in the hearts of Muslims vis-a-vis these 
acts and prepare them for a total prohibition of them in 
the Muslim society for ever. 

O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of 
alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab[], and Al-Azlam 
(arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of 
Shaitan's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that 
(abomination) in order that you may be successful. 

Shaitan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and 
hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and 
gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah 
and from As-Salat (the prayer). So, will you not then 
abstain? (Al -Maidah :90-91) 

(3) The Qur'an commanded the Muslims to change 
their Qiblah. This was an important command in many 
respects. The reason which underlay this command, as 

332 



stated the Qur'an itself,was to distinguish between the 
people of true faith and those who had entered the fold of 
Islam out of other motives than a total submission and 
surrender to the will of Allah ta'ala. To cite the relevant 
Qur'anic reference here: 

And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards 
Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who 
followed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from those 
who would turn on their heels (i.e. disobey the 
Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those 
whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your 
faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered towards 
Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most 
Merciful towards mankind. (A1 - Baqarah:143) 

The Qur'an abounds in such references which seek 
to explain the reasons underlying the commands 
addressed to the human beings. There is hardly any other 
scripture, including the Bible and Ramaina, which provide 
such rational explanations of the commands they address 
to their followers. Therefore,!! would be no exaggeration to 
say that while other Prophets were the manifestation of 
Allah's operations in His colossal universe, Muhammad, 
the Last Prophet (PBUH), was a manifestation of Allah's 
knowledge. 

Basis of Science 

As far as the intellectual and conceptual bases of 
science are concerned,no other scripture than the Qur'an 
invites the men to observe the operations of the Divine 
Scheme of Creation and pondering over the secrets of its 
smooth and unhindered working, a perfect coordination 


333 



between the opposing forces to yield the desired results. It 
is undeniably the Holy Quran which invited the men to 
this type of deep observation. We come across numerous 
references calling the men to ponder over the signs leading 
man to recognize the Creator and His omnipotence. By 
such references the Qur'an actually laid the foundations of 
the modern knowledge called science. This a yet another 
proof to the fact that Muhammad Rasool Allah excelled 
other Prophets in knowledge. 

The Qur'an, the greatest miracle of the Prophet's 
knowledge 

Look at the long list of the miracles of the Holy 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Most of his miracles,as 
being the case with other Prophets of Allah as well,belong 
to the realm of practice and operation. His single miracle 
which far outweighs all other ones, and shall continue to 
exist till the last day of the world,being the Holy Qur'an. It 
is the only abiding miracle given to the Holy Prophet 
Muhammad (PBUH). It is because of the fact that it 
belongs to the vast realm of knowledge. It has challenged 
the entire world to produce anything of comparable merit 
if its opponents believe it to be the work of a human being. 
This challenge still continues to be unmet, and will remain 
so till the Doom's Day. To cite just a Qur'anic reference 
here: 

And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are 
in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. 
the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him), 
then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call 


334 



your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah if 
you are truthful. (Al-Qur'an,2:23) 

The nature of this challenge,quite 
obviously,embraces the aspects of the knowledge it 
presents, its linguistic sublimity, its incomparably correct 
presentation of the facts profusely scattered around in the 
universe and the information it provides relating to the 
realm lying beyond the ken of sense- perception. 

Primary difference between the nature of the 
miracles of other Prophets and the Qur'an, the great 
miracle given to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 

No other Prophet was given such a great and 
comprehensive miracle as the Qur'an except Muhammad 
(PBUH). Most miracles of the Prophets preceding the 
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) belonged to their practices in 
different areas of human working. They obviously could 
last as long as lasted the lives of those Prophets. Noah's 
ark, the She-camel of the Prophet Salih, the singing of the 
rocks and birds with the Prophet David, Solomon's 
unprecedented government, the scenes of his travelling on 
the shoulders of the air,his subjugation of the jins,his 
understanding of the birds'l languages, inability of the 
Nimrod's fire to burn the Prophet Ibrahim,Prophet Ismail's 
miraculous living for a longer time even without the basics 
of the life support system, the miraculous performance of 
the Mosaic staff, gushing out of the water springs from the 
rock, the Prophet Jesus's bringing the dead to life, his 
curing the incurable sicknesses or his being raised over the 
heavens which we come across in the Qur'an and the 
history all were the miracles which left hardly any signs 
after the lives of their respective Prophets. All such 

335 



miracles of the Prophets of the past have actually paled 
into insignificance by comparison with the Holy Qur'an, 
the abiding miracle of the Holy Prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH). This is, again,due to the fact that it belongs to the 
realm of knowledge. It is the Qur'an which launched the 
age of knowledge and enlightenment. This age will stay as 
long as stays the Qur'an to open newer vistas of its 
miraculous content of knowledge. 

Some people of outstanding knowledge produced 
by the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH) 

The teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 
were, and still are, able to produce the men of 
extraordinary knowledge, and by their intrinsic spiritual 
and intellectual value, have always been transforming 
innumberale people into the men of outstanding 
knowledge. The following names may,for instance,be 
mentioned here to give a just representational illustration 
of the point. The Rightly-guided Caliphs,Aisha 
Siddiqa,Abu Hurairah,And Allah bin Abbas,And Allah bin 
Masood,Ubai bin Ka'ab,Abd Allah bin Umar,Salman al- 
Farisi,Khalid bin Walid, and so on,to name just a few. 
These are the people so great in respect of their 
achievements and accomplishments that even the complete 
nations can not dare to claim parity with them. During the 
course of the later ages and subsequent centuries there 
appeared thousands of men of exceptional knowledge and 
learning in all areas of human life who enriched the human 
knowledge with unprecedented wealth of knowledge and 
experience. They are too many to be named. Their 

336 



achievements proved as beneficial to the subsequent 
generations as those of the Prophets of yore. The fountain 
of their benefits still holds great good even today. 

Practical aspect o£ the all-out revolution brought 
about by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 

As far as the practical aspect of his revolution is 
concerned, the great extents of it might well be assessed by 
the fact that in the long history of the prophethood there 
emerged no Prophet who could bring such a 
comprehensive revolution which left no aspect of human 
life unaffected. There emerged no Prophet except 
Muhammad (PBUH) who succeeded in bringing about a 
revolution which changed the course of human history for 
ever and saved the drowning boat of mankind from total 
destruction towards which it had been heading for 
centuries. By dint of this unprecedented revolution the 
Prophet (PBUH), within the span not exceeding two 
decades of his life, succeeded in bringing the entire Arabia 
under the spiritual and political yoke of the Divine religion 
and established the just rule of Islam over the known 
portion of the world of that time. This was indeed a great 
favour of Allah ta'ala to him and the entire world. To 
repeat the relevant Qur'anic reference here again: 

It is He Who has sent His Messenger with 
Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to 
proclaim it over all religion: and enough is 
Allah for a Witness. (al-Fath:28) 

This Qur'anic verse speaks of the fact that 
Muhammad Rasul Allah was the Prophet of Revolution. 


337 



Apart from its nature, scope and the area of its effect and 
influence, every revolution is born out of a sound thinking 
and all-round great effort. Without courage, 
determination, knowledge, dedication and a team of 
solicitous and devoted workers no constructive revolution 
is imaginable to take place. Since the revolution brought 
about by Muhammad the Messenger of Allah is 
unprecedented in all respects,he must stand alone in the 
long list of those fortunate men blessed with the position 
of Prophet. 

As of his miracles relating to the sphere of practice, 
they, too, are too many to count. Without undertaking a 
comparative study between the miracles of the preceding 
Prophets with those of Muhammad Rasul Allah,it may 
safely be claimed that the latter's miracles outshine those of 
his preceding Prophets in terms of efficiency, influence and 
strength. More so, the instances of the miracles given to the 
earlier ones are found in those granted by Allah ta'ala to 
Muhammad (PBUH) as well. Through the following 
poetical line the poet wants to express the same fact: 

Beauty of Yusuf, the quiqckening influence of Isa, the 
shining hand of Musa, 

The goodnesses of all you alone combine in your self. 

The long list of Prophet Muhammad's miracles 
includes numerous miracles. Besides the common 
literature around Seerah which unfailingly makes mention 
of his miracles, there are many separate books have been 
written only to deal with his miracles. Imam Baihaqi's 
Dalail -an- Nubbuwwah and Imam Suyuti's al- Khasais al- 
Kubra,among others,are well-known books which treat the 


338 



theme in a more detailed manner and are regarded the best 
examples. 

People o£ Action the Holy Prophet's Companionship 
Could Produce 

The Companionship of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) 
and his noble teachings produced countless people in all 
ages of the long Islamic history in all areas of action and 
practice. To name here only a few: 

Farooq Azam,Ali Murtaza, Khalid bin 
Walid,HamzaJa'afar Tayyar,Abdur Rahman bin 
Auf,Mu'az bin Jabal, Amr bin Aas, Mughirah bin 
Shabah,Sa'ad bin Waqqas, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah,Amir 
Muaviya,lmam Hussain and so on are so great persons 
whose instances could hardly be found in the histories of 
the earlier nations. Just like the earlier ages of the Islamic 
history its later ages,too,are by no way less exuberant. 

During the course of the later phases of the great 
Islamic history there have always been emerging such 
great persons many of whom were singly able to form the 
history and each one out of them left indelible imprint on 
the course of human history. To name here only fewer of 
them: 

Umar bini Abdul Aziz, Muhammad bin 
Qasim,Tariq hi Ziyad,Harun al- Rashid,Abdur Rahman bin 
Muhammad,Zubaida the wife of Harun al- Rashid,Nurud 
Din Al Zangi,Salahud Din Ayyubi,Yusuf bin Tashqin, 
Mahmoud bin Subuktagin, Shaikh Abdul Qadir 
Jilani,Muinud Din Chishti Ajmeri,Shamsud Din Altamish, 
Muhammad Khan the Second, the Conqueror of the 
Canstantinopol,Khuwaja Jahan the King of the 


339 



East,Zaheerud Din Muhammad Babar,Sher Shah 
Suri,Alamgir Aurang Zeb,Asif Jab the First Mir Qamrud 
Din Khan,Sultan Tipu Shahid,Sayyid Ahmad Shahid of Rai 
Bareili,Maulana Ismail Shahid, Shaikul Hind Maulana 
Mahmoodul Hasan Deobadi, Maulana Muhammad Ali 
Monger!, Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani,Ubaid Allah 
Sindhi,Maulana Ilyas Kandhlavi,Ataullah Shah Bukari,and 
so on. These are the fewer ones out of the great people of 
ths Ummah each one of them outshines the several 
revolutionary leaders of the past. In short,besides the 
knowledge, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 
outweighs the Prophets of the past in the world of action 
and practice as well. 

An outstandingly significant aspect of Muhammad 
Rasulullah's Prophetic accomplishment 

The most outstanding aspect of Muhammad 
Rasulullah's Prophetic accomplishment is an 
uninterrupted continuation of his movement. This will 
remain so as long as the last day of the world. The mothers 
of this Great Community will uninterruptedly be giving 
birth to such people who will keep the light of his Message 
alive ang bringing constructive revolutions to reconstruct 
the destructed and enlivening the dead. Since the earlier 
religious systems now stand interpolated, their large 
followings have natully turned sterile to revive their 
messages and infuse the spirit of life into them once again. 
The glimpses of knowledge and culture which we notice in 
those nations today are the traces of the Islamic teachings 
which have been able to make inroads into almost all 
aspects of the lives of their adherents. It is unfortunate that 


340 



sustained efforts are being made to deface this shining 
history. But all such efforts,!! Allah ta'ala wills,are doomed 
to frustrate and bear no result. 


Bibliography 

1. Sahih Muslim 8/133, 

2. al- Bidayah wal- Nihayah 3/118--20 

3. Nasimir Riyaz,a commentary on Shifa of Qazi 
lyaaz,Vol. 3,P. 10 

4. Bukhari,! 67,Muslim 2279 on the authority of Anas 

5. Salihi,Muhammad bin Yusuf of Syria (d. 942 AH): 

Subulal huda wal rashadfi seerati Khairil Ibaad wa zikru 
fazailihi wa allanii nubuwwatihi wa afa'alihifil mabdai 
wal ma'ad vol. 10,p 8 

6. Ibid vol. 10,p 14 

7. Baihaqi,Dalailun Nubbuwwah 6/83 
Asbahani, Dalail an- Nubuwwah, vol. l,p. 399 

8. Suyuti,Al- Khasais al-Kubra 2/307 
Ibid 1/108 

Ibid 10/266 
Ibid 2/335 
Ibid 2/388 


341 



Ibid 3/76 
Ibid 3/495 

9. Fathul Bari 6/425 


342 



CHAPTER SIX 


THE ONLY REFUGE FOR ALL 
HUMANITY 


J (S jij J J J^l J-O-^J ^ J“^ I—^ 

(t" : ^ ijp I ^ jj 


You join the ties of relationship, you speak 
the truth, you bear people's burdens, you 
help the destitute, you entertain guests and 
you mitigate the pains and grief's suffered for 
the sake of truth. " (Bukhari). 


HUMANITY AT THE THRESHOLD 
OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 
(SAWS) 


343 



Upon whom be peace who remained clung to the 
mendicity even in the position of kingship; 

Be peace upon whom who always helped the weak, the 
poor, the helpless. 

Every expression of our Prophet's life is unique and 
matchless. Every act he ever performed constitutes a role- 
model for humanity and every footstep of his seerh lights 
the path for the world. In short, 

Muhammad Rasul Allah (PBUH) holds the most 
outstanding position in the midst of the Prophets and 
those blessed by Allah with the high favour of 
Messengership. With his Messengership worldwide, his 
door is always open to all, with no restrictions to keep any 
person away. He treated the friends and foes alike without 
entertaining the considerations of colour, cast, social 
standing or their racial and tribal affiliations. Nobody ever 
returned unsatisfied from his court. The only thing which 
mattered here to get benefit were only the love and 
solicitude one had in one's heart towards Allah, His 
religion and His Messenger. The Prophet (PBUH) always 
abhored all kinds of extremism. He loved moderation and 
simplicity instead. 

Before his advent as Prophet 

Born with a nature highly magnanimous, his 
magnanimity and kindnesses towards one and all was a 
most salient feature of his life even before his advent and 
accession to the Pinal Prophethood. Extending his helping 
hand to the poor, the widows, the orphans, the afflicted 
was his second nature. His wife Khadija's abovementioned 
consolatory observation doubtlessly offers a highly 


344 



credible testimony in this regard. For it is based on direct 
experience extended over period as long as fifteen years. 

After his Advent 

After his advent and assuming the responsibilities 
of the Final Messengership his magnanimity assumed even 
wider proportions. He was raised as the Mercy towards 
the entire mankind. There was no question at all now to 
neglect the weaker and afflicted sections of human society. 
Jabir bin Abdullah related that whenever the Prophet 
(PBUH) was asked for a thing, he never said 'no. Abdullah 
bin Abbas observed that in so far as the magnanimity and 
meeting the needs of people the Prophet (PBUH) was 
always faster than the fast-blowing wind. On the authority 
of Abu Zar Ghifari Imam Bukari reported: Addressing 
Abu Zar, the Prophet (PBUH) said'Tm not pleased to have 
gold equal to the Uhud mountain and keep it unspent 
even for a period of three days. From this inconceivably 
greater amount 1 may withhold with me only the amount 
equal to repay a debt. 1 will give it to the people from all 
sides , caring nothing to worry about. " 

Always careful towards the poor 

Towards the poor he was so considerate that for 
their sake he neglected even his dears and the family 
members. He himself suffered privations and underwent 
hardships but met the needs of the poor and the needy. 

He refused Fatima's request for a servant 

Fatima was the Prophet's dearest daughter. In the 
events of his blessed Seerah we find that he refused to give 


345 



a servant to his beloved daughter Fatima when she came to 
him and, appraising him of her plight she had long been 
suffering in doing the household chores, requested him 
for a domestic aide. He instead instructed her to say some 
words whereby to celebrate the remembrance of Allah. 
Being a great daughter of the great Prophet, she returned 
back to her home with full satisfaction of her heart. 

Love of God and Deep Concern for his Ummah 

The holy Prophet was the Messenger of God, the 
chosen and the exalted, whose all sins, foregoing and 
coming, had been forgiven by the Lord, yet he was the 
most painstaking, eager and earnest in paying homage to 
God. 

Al-Mughira b. Sh'uba reported that the Prophet 
once got up at night and stood praying for such a long 
time that his feet became swollen. On being asked why he 
did this when all of his former and later sins had been 
forgiven, he replied, "What! should 1 not be a grateful 
servant (of God)?" 359 

'Aisha relates that the Messenger of God once kept 
awake throughout the night till morning reciting only one 
verse. Reporting the same event Abu Dharr says that the 


^^®The prophets of God are impeccable and protected even 
against committing minor mistakes. 


Bukhari has mentioned this Tradition in his commentary on 
Surah al-Fath while Tirmidhi and Nusai narrate it in connection 
with the nightly vigils of the Prophet. 


346 



Prophet kept praying throughout the night reciting one 
verse until the dawn appeared. The verse he recited was: 
"If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy 
slaves, and if Thou forgive them, lo! Thou, 
only Thou art the Mighty, the Wise, 

'Aisha says, "The Messenger of God took to fast to 
such an extent that we thought he would never give it up, 
and when he would go without fasting we thought that 
perhaps he would never fast again, 

Anas reports that whoever wanted to see the 
Prophet praying at night could do so^® and similarly one 
could see him sleeping. 

'Abdullah b. ash-Shikhkhir says that once he went 
to see the Prophet. , He was then offering prayers and 
sobbing—the sound emitting from his chest was like that 
of a boiling pot. ^63 

The Messenger was never at easy except when he 
performed the prayers. It seemed that even after saying 
his prayers, he eagerly looked forward to the time when 
he would again he paying homage to God. The Messenger 
often remarked:"The comfort of my eyes lies in prayers. 

The Companions of the Prophet relate that 
whenever he had any trouble he used to prostrate in 
supplication to God. 


^0 Tirmidhi (Q. 5:118) 

361 'Nasai and Ibn Majah. 

362 Bukhari, Kitabul-Tahaijud. 

Shama'il Tirmidhi 
Nasa'i 

365 Abu Dawud 


347 



"Whenever the wind blew at night", says Abu 
Darda', "the Messenger of God took shelter in the mosque 
until it became calm. And whenever there was a solar or 
lunar eclipse, the Prophet got up in trepidation seeking 
refuge from God until it was over and the sky was clear. 
" pj-,e Messenger always seemed solicitous to 
commemore with God; uneasy and restless until he had 
again fell prone before the Lord. Oftentimes he sent for 
Bilal and said, "Bilal, rake arrangements for holding 
prayers and put me at ease. 

Indifference to the World 

Not the best words in their best order in any 
language can adequately depict the way God's Messenger 
looked at dirham and dinar, wealth and property and the 
world and all that it stands for. Indeed, even the disciples 
who had served their time at the feet of the Messenger's 
Companions or the disciples of such disciples never 
regarded fortunes and treasure fit enough for the dust- 
hole. Their pure and pious lives, their indifference to 
wealth and worldly possessions, the way they showered 
bounty on one and all and preferred others over their own 
selves, their contentedness with the barest minimum and 
their heroic selflessness and self-denial take one's breath 
away. One can only picture to oneself the nobleness of 
heart and openhanded generosity as well as self- 


^®®Tabrani 
Abu Dawud 


348 



abnegation and unearthly disposition of the great teacher 
who had enlarged the minds of all the later godly souls. 

We shall, therefore, cite here only a few of those 
authentic reports which have been handed down by the 
most trust worthy narrators since the Prophet's own words 
and actions can best-illustrate his outlook and sentiments 
in this regard. 

Two of the well-known sayings of the Messenger of 
God which sum up his attitude towards worldly life are:"0 
God, life is truly the life of the hereafter", and"What 
have 1 to do with the world! My only business with it is 
like that of a rider who shades himself under a tree, then 
goes off and leaves it. 

'Umar once saw the Messenger lying on a reed mat 
which had left its marks on his body. 'Umar gave, way to 
tears at the frugal living and privation of his mentor. The 
Prophet asked, "What's the matter, 'Umar?" He replied, 
"O Messenger of God, of all the creatures of God, you 
are the most venerated, but it is the Caesar and the 
Chosroes who ate rolling in the lap of luxury. " 'Umar's 
reply made the Messenger's blood boil in anger and his 
face became red. He said, " 'Umar, have you any doubt 
about it?" Then he added, "These are the men who have 
been given all the pleasures of life in advance here in this 
world. "3® 


368 Abu Dawud. 

369 See Sahiyayn for the full report. 

349 



For himself and his family he chose a life of 
austerity and hardship 

The life of ease was rejected by God's Messenger 
not only for his own self but also for his dependents as 
well. He was heard praying, "O God, make the provision 
of Muhammad's family sufficient only to sustain life, 
Abu Huraira says, "By Him in whose hands is Abu 
Huraira's life, the Messenger of God and his family never 
had the wheat bread continuously for three days until he 
departed from this world, 

'Aisha relates, "We, the members of the Prophet's 
household caught sight of one moon and then the next, 
but no fire was lighted in our hearth. We had to live only 
on dates and water." 3^2 

The Prophet's coat of mail had been pawned with a 
jew but he had not enough money to get it back from him. 
The Messenger of God departed from the world of mail 
was still with the Jew. 

The Prophet proceeded to perform the Farewell 
Pilgrimage followed by a huge crowd which obscured the 
horizon at a time when the entire Arabian Peninsula had 
acknowledged his spiritual and temporal supremacy. Yet, 
the saddle of his dromedary was outworn covered by a 
sheet which was worth not more than four dirhams. The 
prayer he then sent up to God was, "O Allah, make it a 
Haj unallowed of all pretentions and show. "373 


370 Bukhari, Kitab-ur-Ruqaq; Muslim, Kitab uz-Zuhd. 

371 Bukhari, Muslim. 

372 Ibid. 

373 Tirmidhi. 


350 



Abu Dharr reports the Messenger telling him on an 
occasion, "1 would hate to possess as much gold as Mount 
Uhud and then to allow three days to pass with a single 
dinar remaining with me except that which 1 may hold 
back for the cause of religion rather, 1 would give it away 
to God's servants this way and that on my right and left 
and in the back. "374 

Jabir b. 'Abdullah says that it never happened that 
the God's Messenger was requested to give anything and 
he said 'No' in reply. Ibn 'Abbas testifies that in generosity 
and bountifulness the Messenger of God was swifter than 
the wins of the wind. "375 

Anas says that once when a man asked the 
Messenger to give him something he gave him a flock of 
sheep enough to fill the space between two hillocks. The 
man returned to his people and said to them, "O you 
people, embrace Islam. Muhammad (peace be upon him) 
gives so open-handedly as if he fears not poverty. " 
Another time, ninety thousand dirhams were presented 
to the Prophet. He asked to heap them up on a mat and 
then started giving it away. Nobody who asked for it was 
denied until the entire heap of money: disappeared. 

Natural Disposition 

The holy Prophet had an excessive zeal for 
devotions to God, his uninterrupted communion with the 
Lord took the shape of extensive orisons and vigils. 


374 Bukhari and Muslim. The version narrated in the Sahih 
Bukhari reads, "I would disdain to possess as much gold as 
Uhud. . . " 

375 See the full version in the Sahihain. 

351 



supplications and lamentations and his indifference to the 
world surpassed the abstinence of hermits and ascetics but 
he was never wanting in sympathy and compassion, 
courteous and mannerly behaviour to one and all; nor was 
he ever lacking in restoring justice to one whom it was 
denied or in bidding welcome to everyone according to his 
status and position. According to the wont of human 
nature, these were perhaps the strongest unidentical traits 
blended together in the character of the Prophet. Once he 
said to Anas, "If you had known what 1 know, you would 
have laughed ever so little and wept a great deal, 

The Messenger came of the noblest stock, yet he 
was very modest, exceedingly large-hearted and most 
swet—tempered; he never kept aloof from his 
Companions; cherished a kind and tender disposition 
towards the children and often took them in his lap; 
accepted the invitation to take meals with the: slaves and 
maidservants, the poor and the indigent; visited the sick 
even if he had to go to the farthest corner of the city and 
always accepted the excuses offered for misdeeds. ^^^He 
was never seen stretching his legs whiles! sitting with his 
Companions lest anyone of them should feel 
inconvenience. 

'Abdullah b. al-Harith reports that he had not seen 
anyone smiling so often and with a more cheerful 
disposition than the Messenger of God. Jabir b. 
Samurah says that he had joined the sittings of the 


376 Abu Nu'aym Hilyat ul-Auliya. 

377 Shama'il Tirmidhi. 

378 Shama'il Tirmidhi. 


352 



Messenger and his Companions more than a hundred 
times. He saw the Companions listening and reciting 
poems, describing some incident of the pagan past while 
the Messenger of God either sat silently or smiled with 
them at some amusing remark. Sharid states that the 
Prophet asked him to recite the verses of Umayya b. Abi 
as-Salt and he recited them. ^79 

The Messenger was extremely kindhearted and 
affectionate—the finest human sentiments and virtues 
were discernible in his character Anas b Malik heard God's 
Messenger saying to Fatima, "Bring my two soils. 3®° In a 
moment they came running and the Prophet kissed and 
embraced them, Another time the Prophet summoned 
his grandson, Hasan b. 'Ali. He came running and 
falling in the Prophet's lap, passed his fingers through his 
beard. The Prophet opened his mouth while Hasan's 
saliva fell in his mouth. 382 

Fatima tells that when the Prophet's freedman 
Zayd b. Flaritha came to Madina, the Prophet was in his 
house. Zayd knocked at the door. The Prophet 
immediately got up to greet him although he was not 
properly dressed. His man tie hanging loosely on his 
shoulders, he went out to receive Zayd, shook hands 
with him and kissed him. 383 


379 Al-Adab al-Mufrad lil Bukhari, p. 127, Umayya b. Ali as- 
Salt was a pre-Islamic poet whose verses are chiefly on religious 
topics. He was a monotheist contemporary with the Prophet. 

380 Hasan and Husain. 

381 Tirmidhi, Merits of Hasan and Husain. 

382 Al-Adab al-Mufrad lil Bukhari, p. 173. 

383 Tirmidhi. 


353 



Usama b. Zayd reports that one of the Prophet's 
daughters sent him a message telling him that a son of hers 
was at the ebb of life, 'asking him to come to her. The 
Prophet sent her greetings, saying at the same time, 
"What God has taken away belongs to Him and what. He 
has given belongs to Him, and He has appointed a time 
for everyone; so she ought to show endurance and seek her 
reward from God. " She then sent for him adjuring to. 
come to her, and he got up to go accompanied by us. The 
boy who was at the last gasp was brought to the Prophet 
who took him in his lap, his eyes overflowing with tears. 
S'ad asked, "What is this, O Messenger of God?" He 
replied, "This is compassion which God deposits in the 
hearts of His servants whom He will Verily, God shows 
compassion to those who are compassionate, 

When the prisoners taken in the battle of Badr 
including 'Abbas were tied, the Messenger could not 
sleep because of the groaning of 'Abbas. The Ansar, on 
coming to know the Prophet's uneasiness, untied him. 
The Prophet was pleased with the Ansar but when it was 
suggested to him that 'Abbas should be set free on 
payment of an indemnity, he refused the request since he 
did not like to discriminate between 'Abbas and other 
prisoners, 

A Bedouin came to the Messenger and said, "You 
kiss your children but we do not. " The Messenger replied. 


384 Bukhari. 

385 Path ul Bari, VolVIII, p. 324. 

354 



"What can I do if God has withdrawn compassion from 
your heart, 

The Prophet was extremely kind to the children 
and was always considerate and benevolent to them. Anas 
says that God's Messenger passed by some children who 
were playing. The Prophet greeted them. 3®^ He also 
reports that the Prophet used to mingle with us and ask 
my younger brother, "Abu 'Umayr, What has happened 
to your bird?" 3*8 

Being too solicitous and well disposed to the 
Muslims, the Messenger of God was very tolerant and 
overlooked their occasional weariness and boredom. 

'Abdullah b. ' Mas'iid says that the Prophet used 
to inter-pace his exhortations and counsels to the people 
lest they should not, get tired with them. Although 
prayer was most pleasing to him, he always used to cut it 
short if the cry of any child reached his ears. He said once, 
"When 1 stand up for prayers 1 intend to make it long, but 
when 1 hear any child crying 1 shorten it for fear that his 
mother might be distressed. 389 

Abu Mas'ud narrates that someone said to the 
Prophet, "O Messenger of God, 1 swear by Allah that 1 
keep away from the morning prayer on account of so and 
so who makes it too long." Ibn Mas'ud further says that he 
never saw the Messenger more angry than he saw him 
while giving an exhortion after that incident. He said, 
"There are some among you who scare the people away; so 

386 Bukhari, on the authority of 'Aisha. 

387 Bukhari. 

388 Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 40. 

389 Bukhari, Kitab-us-Salat. 


355 



whoever of you leads a prayer, lie ought to be brief, for 
there are the weak and the aged and those who have 
a"business to attend, 

It is also related that Anjasha was a singer of camel- 
songs who had a beautiful voice and used to lead the 
dromedaries of women. Anjasha's melodious singing 
made the camels go quickly which disturbed the women. 
Hence the Prophet said to him, "Gently, Anjasha, do not 
break the glass vessels, 

God had made the Messenger's heart as clear as, 
crystal, bearing no ill-will against anybody. Once he said 
to his Companions, "None of you should denounce 
another before me, for 1 like to come out to you without 
any ill-feeling. 

God's Messenger was benign and gracious to all 
the Muslims like their father. He treated everyone of them 
like his family members as if they were 'his own charge. 
Or, the affection he had for them was like that of a mother 
for her child, for he had never had an eye to their wealth 
and property or their prosperity but lie always deemed it 
his duty to lighten their burdens and to clear their debts. 
He used to say, "Whoever leaves some property as a 
legacy, it belongs to his heirs, but hi's unpaid debts are 
my responsibility. 


390 Ibid. 

391 Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 185, Bukhari and Muslim. The 
Prophet indicated, figuratively, the weakness and delicacy of 
women who were put to trouble by the faster pace of the camels. 

392 Kitab-us-Shifa, p. 55. 

393 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Isteqrad. 

356 



There is yet another reliant citing the 
Messenger:"No Muslim has a patron closer unto him than 1 
; or, if you wish, recite the verse 'The Prophet is 
closer to the believers than their selves;' for the property 
Left by anyone goes to his nearest kins whoever they may 
be: hut if one dies leaving a debt, he (the creditor) should 
come to me since 1 am the patron of the deceased and 
responsible to discharge his debts. 

Moderation and Seemliness 

The cardinal virtues of the Prophet, the niceness 
and seamless of his character, which would remain a 
shining example of decorous behaviour for the coming 
genetics, present as well as future, consisted of his innate 
moderation, refined taste and gracefulness, restraint and 
temperateness and unexcessiveness which always kept 
him on the middle path. 'Aisha relates that the God's 
Messenger was never given his choice between two things 
without taking the easier course provided it involved no 
sin; for, if it did, no one kept farther away from it than 
he. 396 

The Prophet disliked pretension and airiness no 
less than he detested asceticism, self-mortification and 
renouncement of what was the just claim of one's body 
and soul. 

Abu Huraira reported the Messenger as saying, , 
"The religion is facility, but if anyone overdoes it, it 
wears him down; so take to moderation and steer an even 

394 Q. 33:6. 

395 Bukhari. 

396 Muslim. 

357 



course; approximate yourselves to handiness and be 
cheering, and get strength through prayer in the morning, 
the evening, and some of the part of darkly night. " 

The Prophet also advised"Lo! exert only as much as 
you have strength, for, by God, Allah would never get 
tired but you would grow weary. " Ibn 'Abbas relates that 
the Messenger of God was asked about the religion most 
liked by God. He replied. "The religion of ease and 
sincerity. " 

'Abdullah b. Mas'iid reported God's Messenger as 
saying, "They are doomed who overdo or deal sternly or 
are given to hair-splitting. 

The Companions sent by the Messenger for the 
education of or exhortion to any tribe were commanded by 
him : "Make it easy, not hard, gladden the hearts, don't 
scare them away." 

'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al'As tells that the Prophet 
said, "God likes to see the marks of His bounty on His 
servant. 


The Prophet in His House 

The Messenger of God occupied himself at his 
home like a common man. As 'Aisha relates, he used to 
clean his clothes, milch the sheep and himself do his odd 
jobs. She also says that he would mend his clothes, repair 
his shoes and do similar other works. When asked how 


Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 181. 

398 Muslim. 

399 Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Adab. The Prophet meant that if a man 
blessed with prosperity led a miserable and shabby existence like 
a beggar, he showed his ungratefulness to God. 

358 



the Prophet occupied himself at home, she replied, "He 
used to keep himself busy in household chores and went 
out when the Lime for prayer came. " ^oo 

In another report related on her authority) she is 
reported to have said, "The Prophet of God used to repair 
his shoes, mend his clothes and occupied himself at home 
even as any of you occupy yourself, 

'Aisha relates, '"God's Messenger was very 
softhearted, the kindliest of all. He laughed often and 
smiled much. "402Anas says that he had not seen a man 
who was more clement and nice to his household members 
than the Messenger of God. " n is related on the 
authority of 'Aisha that the Prophet said, "The best of you 
is one who is most nice to his wife and children and 1 am 
the nicest among you. "404 

Abu Huraira said that the Prophet never expressed 
disapproval of any food, if he desired, he ate it, and if 
he disliked he left it alone, 

Selflessness 

It was a settled principle with the Prophet that he 
always kept to the fore his own kith and kin and those who 
were nearer to him in facing a risk or hazard but allotted 
them the last place in distributing favours and rewards 
and spoils of war. When the three well-known swordsmen 


400 Bukhari. 

401 Musannaf by Abd-al-Razzaq, Vol. XI, p. 260. 

402 Ibn 'Asakir. 

Musnad Ahmad and Muslim, On the authority of Anas. 

404 Ibn Majah 

405 Bukhari and Muslim 


359 



of Quraysh, 'Utba b. Rabi'a, Shayba b. Rabi'a and Walid 
b. 'Utba, challenged the Muslims to a single combat at 
Badr, the Prophet sent forward Hamza, 'All and 
'Ubayda although he knew about the valour-of-enemy 
combatants and also had a number of veterans among the 
Muhajirin and the Ansar who could have successfully 
tilted with the Qurayshite battlers. All the three, Hamza, 
'All and 'Ubayda, belonged to the Prophet's own clan, 
Banu Hashim, and were his nearest relatives. They were 
also held dear by him but the Messenger, disliked to 
imperil others for the sake of keeping his kindred out of 
danger. God helped the three to emerge successful in the 
combat; Hamza and 'Ali came back safe and triumphant 
while 'Ubayda was brought back mortally wounded. 

Again, when the Prophet disallowed usury and 
abolished blood vengeance belonging to the pre-lslamic 
period on the occasion of Farewell Pilgrimage he declared, 
"The usury of the pre-lslamic period is abolished, and the 
first of our usury 1 abolish is that of 'Abbas b. 'Abdul 
Muttalib. Claims of blood vengeance belonging to the 
pagan past have been abolished and the first of those 
murdered among us whose blood vengeance 1 remit is that 
of the son of Rabi'a b. al-Harith. 

Unlike the kings, rulers and political leaders the 
Prophet of God always kept his kins and kindreds in the 
background, giving preference to others in giving out 
gifts and rewards. 'All relates that Fatima had to work 
hatch in grinding corn. So, when she got the news that 


406 Muslim, Kitab-ul-Haj on the authority of Jabir b. 'Abdullah. 


360 



some slave girls had been brought to the Prophet, she 
went to him and requested him for one to be given to her. 
The Prophet, however, did not accede to her request. 
Fatima then mentioned the matter to 'Aisha who talked to 
the Prophet about Fatima's trouble. Relating this incident 
'Ali says: 

"The Messenger of God visited us when we had gone to 
bed. We were about to getup but he told us to stay where 
we were. He then sat down near me and. 1 felt the 
coldness of his feet on my chest. He then said, "Let me 
guide you to something better than what you have asked. 
When you go to bed, say Subhan Allah (Glory be to God) 
thirty-three time, Alham-du-lillah (Praise be to God) 
thirty-three times, and Allah-o-Akbar (God is most great) 
thirty-four times. This, will be better for you than a 
servant, 

In another report of the same incident handed 
down through another source, the Prophet is also 
reported to have said, "By God, 1 cannot give you 
anything at the time when the bellies of lily Companions of 
Buffalos have been hollowed by hunger. 1 have nothing to 
meet their expenses and 1 will sell these to provide for 
them. " 

Instinctive Sublimeness 

Great was the responsibility lying on the 
Messenger; publication of God's truth in its purity. 


"^07 Bukhari, Kitab ul-Jihad. 

408 A raised platform at the mosque in Madina where lived poor 
Companions desirous of remaining in attendance upon the 
Prophet. 


361 



inviting the people to be take the path of truth and virtue, 
guarding and guiding the nascent Islamic community and 
the cares and anxieties for the suffering humanity were the 
charges heavier than flesh and blood zan bear. In between 
all these worries, stresses and strains we find the most 
sublime instincts of grace and goodness reflecting his 
worthiness and excellence of heart. In spite of his 
dauntless spirit of resolution and singleness of purpose 
which have always been the distinguishing features of the 
prophets, the Messenger of God could never forget those 
faithful friends and Companions who had accepted his 
mission in its initial stages and made the supreme sacrifice 
of laying down their lives in the battle of Uhud. He always 
used to talk about them, invoked divine blessings for 
them and not often paid a visit to them. 

Such was this immortal love, with an element of 
the transcendent in it, that it had gone beyond the flesh 
and blood and penetrated the inanimate hills and stones 
and ravines where these brilliant spectacles of noble love 
and sacrifice had been enacted. His Companions relate 
that they heard him saying, "This is the hill that loves me 
and to love it. 

Anas b. Malik says that when the Messenger of 
God caught sight of the Uhud, he sad, "This is the hill 
that loves me and I love it. " Abi Humayd reports that he 
accompanied the Messenger while returning from Tabiik. 
When they came near Madina, the Prophet of God said. 


Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

362 



"This is Taba, ^lo and this is the hill which loves me and 1 
love it. "411 

'Uqba tells that God's Messenger went to the 
martyrs of the Uhud and prayed for their salvation, 
Jabir b. 'Abdullah relates that when the martyrs of the 
Uhud were once mentioned to the Prophet he said, swear 
to God that 1 would have liked to be sleeping with these 
martyrs by the side of this hill. " 

The Messenger had borne with equanimity the 
shock of Hamza's death, who had been his loving uncle as 
well as foster-brother and had parted with his life fighting 
valiantly for the cause of Islam. He had also remained 
calm and composed on what had been done with Hamza's 
dead body. But, when he passed by the houses of Bani 
'Abdul Ashhal while returning to Madina, he head the 
lamentations over the dead. Overcome with the grief for 
the departed comrade, his eyes gave way to tears and be 
said, "But there are no women to mourn over Hamza !"4i3 

But these instincts and emotions, howsoever noble 
and sublime and overflowing with the milk of human 
kindness, were never allowed by the Messenger of God to 
entrammels his mission or to disrupt the divine 
injunctions. Historians and biographers of the Prophet 
relate that when S'ad b. Mu'ad and Usayd b. Hudayr 
came back to the settlement of Bani 'Abdul Ashhal, they 
ordered their women to girl themselves and go and weep 


410 Madina Tayyaba. 

411 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

412 Ibid. 

413 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 95. Ahmad has narrated this report 
on the authority of Ibn 'Umar. 

363 



for Hamza. They did as they had been told and when the 
Messenger came he found them weeping at the door of his 
mosque. But, he told them, "May God haves mercy on 
you, go back; your presence has been enough for my 
consolation. " It has been narrated by another companion 
that on seeing the women the Messenger asked"What is 
it?" When he was told that the Ansar had sent their 
women took weep over Hamza, he invoked God's mercy 
for the Ansar and paid compliments to them for their love 
to him but also added, "1 did not mean that. 1 do not like 
lamentation over the dead. . " Thereafter the Messenger 
forbade mourning for the dead. '^14 

An occasion still more poignant it was when 
Wahshi, the slayer of Hamza, called upon the Messenger 
of God, The conquest of Mecca by the Muslims was 
deemed by the enemies of Islam as the darkest hour of 
their lives. A number of them had no hesitation in 
reaching the decision that it would now be well-high 
impossible for them to remain at Mecca; they decided to 
migrate to Syria, Yemen or some other place for the fear, 
of their lives. Their friends, however, told them:"Woe to 
Muhammad (peace be upon him) does not kill anyone 
enters his religion. "Almost all these former enemies 
returned and embraced Islam. None of them had the least 
speck of fear in his heart on appearing before the 
Messenger after pledging allegiance to Islam, nor did the 
Messenger say a word to cast any doubt on their sincerity 
or to terrify them. And so it happened with Wahshi also. 
The Messenger of God learnt from Wahshi after he had 


414 Ibn Kathir, Vol. Ill, p. 96. 



accepted Islam, how he had killed Hamza. It was but 
natural that the Prophet was grieved and harrowed to 
know 'about the ghastly crime of Wahshi, but he did not 
allow his irritation to get the better of his responsibility as 
the Messenger of God. He neither refused to admit 
Wahshi to the fold of Islam nor had him slain for his crime. 
All he said to Wahshi was, 'O man, hide your face from 
me and never let me see you age:-" Wahshi used to avoid 
the Messenger of God so that he should to see him, until 
the time arrived for the Messenger's departure. 

These nobler emotions or tender feelings reflecting 
warm heartedness of the Prophet were laid bare when he 
visited an r d, dilapidated grave. Then, those with him 
found him in a turn: ii, and he said, "This is the grave of 

Amina. " This was long, _years after the death of the 

Messenger's mother, 

Mildness, Courtesy and Forbearance 

In his good manners, gentleness, . cordiality, 
sympathy forbearance the Messenger of God has left a 
perpetual and living example of noble behaviour for the 
entire humanity. To tell truth, be stood on such an 
exalted plane of graceful and polite deportment that God 
has paid him a glowing compliment in the Qur'an. 

"And verily thou art of a high and noble 

disposition"4i7 


Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 72, Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

"‘i® Baihaqi, on the authority of Sufyan Thauri, Ibn Kathir, Vol. 
I, p. 236. 

417 Q. 68:4. 


365 



The Messenger once told the Companions, "God 
has Himself disciplined me and disciplined in the best 
manner. " 

Jabir reported the Messenger as saying, "God has 
raised me for the completion of moral virtues and seemly 
behaviour, 

When 'Aisha was questioned about the character of 
the Prophet, she replied, "Qur'an was his character, 

Indeed, such were his tolerance and forbearance, 
sympathy, graciousness and large heartedness that even 
the painters of soul with the gift of speech would seldom 
find words adequate to catch his likeness. Had the 
accounts about him not been handed down with the 
greatest caution by the most trustworthy narrators, it 
would have been difficult for one to accept them. But all 
these accounts have been transmitted with the greatest 
care by very many narrators, each testifying the piety, 
veracity, acumen and intelligence of the other from whom 
he learnt of an event, and, then, the reports transmitted 
through different sources and channels so corroborate one 
another that in their genuineness and authenticity form a 
class by themselves in the entire continuous and 
methodical records of public events. There is, thus, not 
the least doubt that every unbiased student of these 
records will come to the conclusion that never has there 
existed a historical document which was more firmly 
based on facts or better authenticated by, external and 


Sharh-s-Sunnah and Mishkat-ul-Masabih, p. 514. 
419 Muslim. 


366 



eternal evidence than the Traditions of the Prophet which 
represent the climax of the science of history. 

Instances of his overlooking, pardoning and 
forgiveness 

A few incidents given here illustrate the Prophet's 
tenderness and mercy towards the people. 
Clemency of the merciful Messenger of God made no 
distinction between a friend and a foe. 'Abdullah b. 
Ubayy was the leader of hypocrites whose revengeful 
attitude had always created difficulties for the Prophet. 
But, when he died and had been placed in his grave, the 
Messenger of God arrived and asked him to be taken out. 
He then placed him on his knees, blew some of his saliva 
over him, and clothed him with his shirt. ^20 

Anas reports:"Once when 1 was walking with the 
Prophet who was wearing a Najrani cloak with coarse 
fringe, a nomadic Arab met him and gave his cloak a 
violent tug. 1 saw that the man's tug had left a mark on the 
neck of God's Messenger. The nomad said, 'Command 
that 1 be-given some of the Gad's property you have, 
Muhammad (SAW). ' The Messenger turned round to him 
and laughed, and then ordered that he should be given 
something. "42i 

Zayd b. S'ana came to the Prophet and demanded 
payment of the money owed by the Prophet. Then he 
violently pulled the Prophet's cloak from his shoulder, 
caught hold of it and addressed him rudely, saying, "You 

"^20 Abdullah b. Ubbay died in 9 A. H. , after his return trom 
Tabuk Ar-Zurqani, Vol. Ill, pp. 112-13; Bukhari. 

"^21 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Jihad, Musnad Ahmad, Vol. Ill, p. 153. 

367 



son of 'Abdul Muttalib are dilly-dallying. " 'Umar rebuked 
and reproached him hut the Prophet kept smiling and said 
to 'Umar, "This Inanvas entitled to a better treatment from 
you. You ought to have advised me to repay the loan 
promptly and asked him to make his demand politely. " 
Then, turning to Zayd, the Prophet said, "There, are still 
three days to go for the appointed time for repayment. " At 
the same time he asked 'Umar to repay the loan and give 
Zayd twenty s'af more so as to compensate him for his 
threatening attitude towards Zayd. The gracious and 
obliging behavior of the God's Messenger caused Zayd to 
embrace Islam. ^22 

Anas relates that once a band of eighty armed men 
of Mecca suddenly appeared at Wadi Tan'yeem with the 
intention of making a sudden attack on the Messenger of 
God. They were all made captives but the Messenger 
spared their lives. ' 

Relating an incident when Jabir went with the 
Messenger of God on an expedition, he says, "At mid-day 
the time for a siesta came during the journey. The valley 
was full of Thorny bushes. The Messenger of God went to 
take rest under an acacia tree on which he hung his sword. 
We also dispersed to take a break under different trees. All 
of a sudden the Prophet called is and we saw that a 
nomadic Arab was sitting by his side. When we went to 
him he said, '1 was sleeping when this man came and 
unsheathed my sword against me. When 1 awoke 1 saw 
him standing over my head with the drawn sword, and 
he was asking me: 'Who can now protect, you from me?' 1 


422 Ahmad, Vol. Ill, p. 153. 


368 



replied, Allah' and he sheathed the sword. Then he sat 
down and now he is before you. " It is related that God's 
Messenger did not exact any vengeance from the nomad. 

423 

Every companion of the Prophet was sufficiently 
forbearing to throw the most godly soul into shade but the 
long-suffering patience of God's Messenger rose above the 
patience of all of them. He was their kindhearted teacher 
and mentor and guide from , whom all drew inspiration. 
An incident related by Abu Huraira illustrates the breadth 
and bigness of the Messenger's heart. Once a Bedouin 
passed urine in the holy Mosque. The Companions 
jumped at him and grabbed him for the sacrilegious act, 
but the Messenger commanded, "Let him alone. Pour a 
bucket or two of water over what he has passed, for you 
have been sent to make things easy and not to make things 
difficult. "424 

Another companion, Mu'awiya b. al-Hakam 
reports, "1 sneezed while praying along with the 
Messenger of God and said: 'God have mercy on you!' The 
people around stared down at me, so 1 said, 'Woe is me! 
What do you mean by looking askance at me?' They began 
to strike their hands on their thighs. Now 1 understood 
that they wanted me to be silent and 1 kept quiet. When 
the Messenger of God finished his prayer— for whom 1 
would give my father and mother as ransom as no teacher 
better than him 1 have seen before or after; for, by God, 
he neither rebuked, nor beat, nor reviled me—he simply 


423 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi. 

424 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Wadu. 


369 



said to me, 'No talk is fitting during the prayer, for it 
consists only of the glorification of God, declaration of 
His greatness and recitation of 'the Quran. "425 

Anas has also related many an instance of the 
Prophet's leniency, sympathy and noble mindedness. He 
says that God's Messenger was too generous and kind. If 
anybody in need approached him for anything, he gave it 
to him or at least made a promise for the same. Once, 
when the Messenger had taken his place to lead the prayer, 
a desert Arab stepped forward and holding his cloak said, 
"1 stand in need but 1 fear lest 1 should forget it. " The 
Prophet went with him and prayed after he had satisfied 
him. 

Speaking of the indulgent and long-suffering 
nature of the Messenger Anas has cited certain instances of 
the time when he was a young lad. He says, "1 served the 
Prophet of God for ten years but he never blamed me for 
doing or not doing anything. " 426 

Su'ad b. 'Umar called upon the Prophet when, as 
he says, his own cloak bore some marks of a scent mixed 
with saffron. The Prophet exclaimed, "Saffron! Saffron 1 
lay off Hay off! and hit me with a stick on my stomach 
which caused me a little pain. Su'ad said, "O Messenger 
of god, now 1 have a right to make requital. " The Prophet 
at once bared his belly and said, "Have your revenge". 427 


425 Muslim. 

426 Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fada'il. 

427 Kitab-us-Shifa, Suad demanded to even the score out of love 
so that he may kiss the Prophet's belly and not to return blow for 
blow. 


370 



Modesty 

The Prophet was absolutely unassuming and 
modest; he hated to put on airs or to make himself 
conspicuous on any occasion. He did not even like the 
people to stand up for showing him respect nor he allowed 
anybody to extol him in the way the followers of other 
religions had praised their prophets. He was the 
Messenger and servant of God and he wanted himself to 
be known by others in a like manner, neither more, nor 
less. Anas said that no man was dearer to the Companions 
than God's Messenger, but they never stood up on seeing 
him for they knew his dislike for that, 

Once the Prophet was addressed as the"best of 
creations. " He promptly replied, "That was the position 
enjoyed by Ibrahim" ^29 

'Umar reported the Prophet as saying"Do not exalt 
me as the Christians have exalted Jesus son of Mary. 1 am 
just His servant, so call me God's servant and Messenger. 

430 

'Abdullah b. Abi Aufa' reports'The Messenger of 
God never disdained to go with a slave or a Widow to 
accomplish their tasks, Anas says that any slave-girl or 
maidservant of Madina could hold the Prophet by hand 
and say whatever she liked or take him to the place she 
desired. ^32 


"^28 Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Vol. Ill, p. 132. 

"^29 Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fada'il. 

"^30 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Ambiya. 

431 Baihaqi. 

432 Musnad Ahmad, Vol. Ill, pp. 189-215, Jam'a ul-Fawaid, 
Kitab-ul-Manaqib. 


371 



When 'Adiy h. Hatim came to see the Messenger, 
he called him inside his house. A maidservant brought a 
cushion to rest on but the Prophet placed it between him 
and 'Adiy and sat down on the floor. 'Adiy later said that 
he had then immediately realised that the Prophet was not 
a king. ^33 

Anas reported that the Messenger of God used to 
visit the sick, attend funeral, tide on a donkey and accept 
a slave's invitation for a meal. ^34 

Jabir states that the Prophet used to slow down his 
pace for the sake of the weak and also prayed for them. 435 
Anas said: The Prophet accepted an invitation even 
if 'he was presented a barley bread and soup whose taste 
had changed. "436 He also reports the Prophet as saying, "1 
am God's servant, 1 eat like a servant and sit like a 
servant. "437 

'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As says:"Once, when the 
Messenger of God came to my house, 1 gave him a 
cushion filled with bark, but he sat down on the floor 
placing the cushion between me and him. '438 

The Messenger, used to tidy up his house, tether 
the camels, feed animals, take food with his servants and 
help them in kneading flour and bringing provisions from 
the market. 439 


433 Zad al-Ma'ad Vol. I, p. 43. 

434 Sham'il Tirmidhi. 

435 Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib. 

436 Sbam'il Tirmidbi; Musnad Abmad, Vol. Ill, pp. 211-289. 

437 Kitab-us-Sbifa, p. 101. 

438 Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 172. 

439 Kitab us-Sbifa, p. 101. 


372 



Courage and Shyness 

Courage and shyness, are often regarded as 
conflicting traits but the two poised the Prophet's character 
in a like manner. Being extremely modest, he blushed 
like a maiden, as stated by Abu Sa'eed Khudri, if he 
came across anything shocking or outrageous. On such 
occasions his countenance-changed showing his 
displeasure, Such was his coyness that he was even 
diffident to express anything disagreeable to one's face and 
usually asked somebody else to do the job for him. Anas 
reports that the clothes of a man present in one of his 
sittings, were hued in yellowish colour. Since the Prophet 
did not like to say anything displeasing to any one, he 
said to others, when the man had got up to leave, "It 
would have been better if you had told him to give up 
using yellow colour. "44i 

'Aisha relates that if the Prophet came to know of a 
misdeed committed by anybody, he never asked him why 
he had done it; what he said on such occasions was, "What 
has happened to the people that say or do such a thing?" 
He deprecated the wrong but never named the wrongdoer. 

442 

As for the dauntless courage and valour of the 
Prophet of God, the testimony of 'Ali, the lion of God, 
is plenty good enough to illustrate the point He says 
:"When the battle used to become fierce and the eyes 
seemed to be coming out of the sockets, we were wont to 


"^40 Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Manaqib. 

Shama'il Tirmidhi, Chap. Khulq an-Nabi. 
Abu Dawud. 


373 



look for the Prophet in order to find a refuge behind him. 
Then, we found none closing up with the enemy as the 
Prophet. This was how it happened in Badr; we were 
taking shelter behind the Prophet who was then going at 
the enemy more closely than anyone of us. 

Anas said, "The Messenger of God was extremely 
handsome, most generous and the bravest of men. One 
night when the people in Madina had been in a panic and 
some went in the direction of the sound they had heard 
they were met by the Prophet who had gone in that 
direction ahead of them, and he was saying, 'Don't fear, 
don't fear. ' He was then on a bare- backed horse without 
a saddle belonging to Abu and had a sword slung on his 
neck. Praising the horse he said, '1 found it swift and 
rushing ahead like an ocean. "444 

In the battles of Uhud and Hunayn when the 
Muslims had fallen back and the bravest among them were 
unable to stand the charge of the enemy, the Messenger of 
God had stuck to his posit ion, riding his mule, as if 
nothing had happened, and was calling out, "1 am the 
Prophet without falsehood; 1 am the son of 'Abdul 
Muttalib. " 

Mercy and Compassion 

God's Messenger was the kindliest of men just as 
he excelled all others in courage and valour. Being 
extremely kindhearted, his eyes brimmed with tears at 
the slightest sign of inhumanity. Shaddad b. Aus reports 


443 Kitab-us-Shifa, p. 89. 

444 Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 46. 

374 



the Messenger as saying, "God has commanded you to 
show kindness to everyone, so if you have to kill, kill 
nicely, and if you slaughter an animal, slaughter it 
gently. If anyone of you has to slay an animal, he should 
sharpen the blade first and treat the animal well, 

Ibn 'Abbas relates that a man threw a goat on its 
side and then started sharpening his knife. When the 
Prophet saw him he said, "Do you want to kill it twice? 
Why did you sharpen the knife before throwing it on the 
ground ?" 

The Messenger forbade his Companions to keep the 
dumb creatures hungry or thirsty, to disturb or to 
overburden them. He commended that kindliness and 
putting them at ease were meritorious acts tending to 
bring man nearer to God. 

Abu Huraira reports the Prophet as saying, "A 
traveler who was thirsty saw a well in the way. He got 
inside the well and when he came out he saw a dog licking 
mud because of thirst. The man be thought himself that 
the dog should be as thirsty as he was and so he got into 
the well again, filled his leather sock with water and 
carried it out holding with his teeth. And thus he 
quenched the thirst of the dog . God was pleased with this 
act of kindness and pardoned his sins. 'The Companions 
asked, "O messenger of God, is there recompense in the 
matter of beasts and wild animals also?" The Prophet 
replied, "There is recompense in regard to every creature 
that has a living heart. " 


Muslim, Kitab-uz-Zabh. 
Bukhari and Muslim. 

375 



'Abdullah b. 'Umar told that the Prophet said, "A 
woman was cast away into the hell only because she had 
denied food and water to her cat and refused to set it free 
so that the cat might satisfy its hunger by taking worms 
and insects. ^47 

Suhayl b. ar-Rab'i b. 'Amr states that the 
Messenger of God came across a camel so famished that its 
belly had shrieked to its back. He said, "Fear God in the 
matter of these dumb creatures. If you ride them, ride 
when they are healthy and you eat them, eat them when 
they are in a good condition. " ^48 

'Abdullah b. J'afar narrated the incident that once 
the Prophet entered the enclosure of an Ansari where there 
was a camel which started groaning on catching sight of 
the Prophet, wars running down its eyes. The Prophet 
went near it, patted on its hump and face which set it at 
ease. Then the Messenger asked who its owner was. The 
Ansari young men came and said:"0 Messenger of God, it 
belongs to me. " The Prophet said to him, "Do you not fear 
God in the matter of this beast although He has made you 
its owner? It complained to me that you bore hard upon it 
and always kept it at work, 

Abu Huraira quoted the Messenger as saying, 
"When you travel in a fertile country do not deny the 
camels their due from the ground, and when you travel in 
a land barren and dry, cover it with speed. When you 
encamp at night keep away from the roads, for they are 


"^47 Nawawi on the authority of Muslim. 
Abu Dawud. 

Abu Dawud. 


376 



where the beasts pass and are the resorts of the insects at 
night. "450 

Ibn Mas'ud reports, "While we were on a journey 
with God's Messenger, he went a short distance from 
where we had encamped. There we saw a small bird with 
two of its birdlings and caught them. The bird was 
fluttering when the Prophet came back and so he asked, 
'Who has distressed it by taking its chicks?' Then he asked 
us to return the chicks. There we also saw 'an ant-hill and 
burnt it out. When the Prophet saw he asked, 'Who has 
burnt it?' When we informed him that we had done it, he 
said, 'Only the Lord of fire has the right to punish with 
fire. '451 

The Prophet strongly enjoined the duty of kind and 
generous treatment to the slaves, servants and the labour 
engaged for manual work. Jabir relates the Messenger of 
God as saying, "Feed them with the food which you eat, 
clothe them with such clothing as you wear and do not 
cause trouble to God's creatures. "452 The Messenger is 
further stated to have said, "Those whom God has made 
your dependents are your brothers, servants and 
helpmates. Anybody whose brother has been made 
subservient to him ought to feed him with the food he eats 
and clothe him with the clothes he wears, command him 
not to do that which he is unable to do and if it becomes 


450 Muslim. 

451 Abu Dawud, Kitab-ul-Jihad. 

452 Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 38. 

377 



necessary to do so then he should help him in doing the 
job. "453 

'Abdullah b 'Umar says that once a nomadic Arab 
came and asked the Prophet, "How many times should, '1 
pardon my servant in a day?" The Prophet replied. 
Seventy times. "454 He also quotes the Messenger as saying, 
"Pay the wages of a labourer before his sweat dries up. "455 

His immense affection towards the poor and 
helpless 

Across the Seerah literature we encounter numerous 
instances which make us have an estimate how 
affectionate, merciful, magnanimous, loveful, forgiver 
and lenient the Prophet (PBUH) was towards the poor and 
helpless. In his noble teachings and the prophetic moral 
philosophy incomparable attention has been given to the 
poor and the needy. People are not to be disdained merely 
due to their poverty and need. They deserve every kind of 
sympathy, love and an affectionate behaviour. The 
Prophet (PBUH) loved the poor and needy so much that he 
supplicated to Allah to grant him the life of poverty and 
the death in the state of poverty and raise him, on the Day 
of Judgment, in the company of the poor. 

Course we really imagine the depth of his love and 
affection towards the poor and the needy?He wished to 
live with them and to be raised, on the Day of the, in the 
company of the poor. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to 
have said :"Do not underrate the miserable and the 

453 

454 

455 

378 



wretched. From among them there might be many if they 
swear by Allah vis -a vis a thing, Allah shall fulfil their 
oaths. " 

He also reported to have said:"Beware of the poor. 
Many of you are provided with sustenance thanks to their 
poverty and resourceless." 

He is reporting to have said: 

"The poor shall be granted entrance to Paradize five 
hundred years earlier than the rich. (For this long 
duration) the latter shall be withheld to clear accounts of 
their riches. " 

In like manner, the Prophet (PBUH), on different 
occasions, called the attention of the people to the rights of 
the poor and the deprived and reminded them of their 
religious and moral responsibilities towards those who 
have been tasted by Allah with scanty resources of life 
during their worldly tenure. Such directives of the Holy 
Prophet (PBUH) and his personal behaviour towards the 
poor offer the best example for us to treat this class of the 
human beings. We need to know these teachings and act 
upon them. Unless we have part of the deep sympathy 
towards the poor which the Prophet (PBUH) had in his 
heart we can not be true Muslims. May Allah ta'ala render 
easy for us to act upon his directions. 

He, the knower of the ways, the chief of all, the Last 
Prophet, 

Who was able to render the dust of the way into the light 
of the Sinaic Valley. 

Bibliography 

1. Al- Bukhari al- Jami al- Sahih vol. 1 p. 39 


379 



2. Ibid 

3. Qushairi al- Nisapuri Abul Husayn 
Muslim, Sahib Muslim, vol. 7 

4. Al- Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari vol. 7 

5. Al- Baihaqi Abu Bakr, Shu'abul Iman, vol. 
3 

6. Asbahani Abu Nuaim, Dalail an- 
Nubbuwwah, vol. 2 

7. Nasai, Ahmad bi Shuaib Abu Abdur 
Rahman, Sunanvol. 4 

8. lyaz Qazi, al-Shifa, vol. 1 

9. Al-Baghvi, Muhammad Husayn bin 
Masood al- Anwar fi Shamail an-Nabiyyil 
Mukhtarvol. 1 

10. Al-Bukhari, al-Adabul Mufrad vol. 1 

11. Al-Sheebani, Ahmad bin Hambal, 

Musnad, vol. 5 

12. Al-Bazzar, Musnad vol. 1 

13. Al- Mawardi, Ham al- Nubuwwah 

14. Sajistani Abu Dawood, Sunan vol. 8 

15. Al- Baihaqi, Sunan al- Kubra vol. 9 

16. Ibn Kathir, Ismail bin Umar :A1- Seerah 

17. Tirmizi Abu Isa, Sunan vol. 5 


380 



CHAPTER SEVEN 


UNIVERSALITY OF THE 
MESSAGE OF ISLAM 


_y lji(2gS5l L^ls 




O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a 
witness and a bringer of good tidings and a 
Warner. 

And one who invites to Allah, by His 
permission, and an illuminating lamp. 


381 



WOLDWIDE PLAN FOR THE 
PREACHING OF ISLAM 

Today the Muslim world is witnessing new 
refom movements, organizations and growing 
number of institutions. Each day with the rising Sun 
the Islamic Wold is struck with a new voice and each 
day new conferences hold their meetings and 
sessions. These conferences and organizations, for the 
most part, share much the same objectives and intend 
the ends to the advantage of the Muslim Ummah. 
This phenomenon speaks well of the fact that this 
Ummah is still aliv and in it there exists a good 
number of those intellectuals who are fully active and 
possess an acute sense of their responsibilities 
towards the Ummah. The absence of such people in a 
community in sharp contast, marks the death of that 
community. Non presence of the reform and 
constructive movements in the Islamic world is 
bound to impair it beyond repair. There will be 
storms of mischiefs, satanism, modernism and 
libertinism hitting hard the newer generations of the 
Ummah. If there is no the forces to counter this 
sinister state of moral rot and social degeneration, the 
Ummah is bound to disintegrate and total decline and 
fall under the Divine arrangement, the Muslim 
Ummah never suffered such a situation, and there 
have always been emerging such individuals and 

382 



organizations which devoted themselves to construct 
what was destructed and repair what got impaired. 
This phenomenal abundance of movements growing 
number organizations and institutions angurs were 
for a better future of the Ummah. It is because of the 
reason that it enjoys the presence of such solicitors 
believes who are courageous enough to take on the 
tempests of evil and destructive and devilish 
movements the world abounds in all Ummah. May 
Allah protect them all and bless them with ths 
support. 

Fundamental Difference between Islam and other 
Religions 

No religion can maintain its vigour for long 
and offer a satisfying answer to questions of ever- 
changing life unless it can produce guides and 
standard-bearers who can infuse a breath of new life 
into its followers through their personal example of 
unflinching faith, moral and spiritual excellence, 
immaculate sincerity, heroic sacrifice, self-confidence, 
ardent zeal, intellectual eminence and erudite 
scholarship. Life always poses new problems, 
temptations of flesh are ever on its side, materialistic 
urge in man always impels him to take the ways of 
self-indulgence and licentiousness, and, at the same 
time, we have always had men who were ardent and 
zealous supporters of the epicurean view and affluent 

383 



living, materialistic brilliance and worldly success. 
Therefore, unless a religion also gets indefatigable 
defenders, renovators and redeemers who can face 
the challenge of atheism and materialism, it cannot 
hope to remain a living force for its followers for long. 

Defence Against Heresy 

History bears testimony to the fact that there 
has never been a spell, however brief, during the past 
one and a half thousand years when the message of 
Islam was eclipsed or its teachings were engulfed by 
heresy, and the Islamic conscience became dormant 
enough to accept a contaminated faith. Whenever an 
effort was made from any quarter whatsoever to 
distort the tenets of Islam, pervert or falsify its 
teachings, or it was attacked by senseless materialism, 
some one invariably came forward to accept the 
challenge and fight it out to the grief of Islam's 
adversary. History records many a powerful 
movement in its day, which posed a danger for Islam 
but now it is difficult to find out even the true impact 
of its thought. Only a few people know today what 
Qadriyah (Rationalists believing in free will), Jahmiyah 
(Determinists), Itizal (Dissenters), creation of the 
Qur'an, Existentialist Monism, Din-i-Ilahi, etc., exactly 
mean, although these represented, at one time or the 
other, very important schools of thought and, with the 
most powerful imperial powers of their day and some 


384 



extremely learned and able persons at their back they 
had threatened to stifle Islam. Finally, however, it 
was Islam which gained ascendancy over these 
contending forces. These powerful movements are 
known today as simply different schools of thought 
and are to be found now in philosophical and 
dialectical treatises. This tradition of struggle against 
un-Islam, the spirit to preserve and renovate the 
prestine teachings of the faith and the effort to infuse 
people with a revolutionary spirit to reassert the 
divince message are as old as Islam itself. 

Legacy of Islam 

This is a legacy of Islam which we have 
inherited. But, by legacy we do not mean here a 
'bequest', for Islam is a living religion. What we have 
really inherited is the treasure consisting of the 
sureness of conviction, and immutable faith, 
Traditons of the Prophet, higher moral values, 
canonical laws and the magnificent Islamic literature 
which has been bequeathed to us by every single 
individual who ever worked for the establishment of 
the kingdom of God, braved the dangers of ignorance 
and materialism, gave a call for the Din of Allah, 
revived the teachings of Islam and filled the people 
with faith and enthusiasm. In truth and reality, all 
those persons who have re-oriented Islam through 
painstaking researches into its original sources and re- 


385 



interpretation of its doctrines; defended Islam against 
philosophies and schools of thought incompatible 
with it; saved it from discord and turmoil; compiled 
the Traditions of the Prophet or presided over 
different schools of Fiqh; showed to others the path of 
temperance and moderation ; censured the society for 
its waywardness and made it turn from that path ; 
dispelled the doubts by examining and elucidating 
the fundamentals of reason and logic; founded the 
new science of dialectics; carried on the work left by 
prophets and apostles of God; filled the people with 
zeal and self-confidence in their own inherent vitality; 
made the most inveterate enemies of Islam to 
acknowledge its truth-in short, all those who have 
pressed their spiritual, moral and intellectual 
capabilities to the service of the faith and not unoften, 
accomplished what emperors and conquerors could 
never have achieved— have contributed to the legacy 
now owned by us and deserve our respect and 
approbation. Had not these defenders of Islam 
worked with ardent zeal and immaculate sincerity 
and made heroic sacrifices for the cause held dear by 
them, we would not have inherited which still 
contains a reservoir of guidance and inspiration for 
us. We can be rightly proud of these ancestors of ours 
and present with confidence the story of their work 
and achievements before other nations. 


386 



Propagation of Islam 

There are two aspects of the Prophet's life 
which are basically the same i.e. the propagation of 
Islam and his treatment of non-Muslims. The 
treatment of non-Muslims in early Muslim society 
was determined partly by the Prophet's own attitude 
towards them and partly by the instructions 
contained in the Qur'an. So far as we know no 
exhaustive work has yet been produced on this 
subject. We shall try, therefore, to trace historically the 
Prophet's reaction to the first revelation and how he 
communicated the message to others. We shall also 
see how people reacted to it. Moreover, we shall also 
attempt to study the Prophet's own attitude, how he 
faced the opposition and what were the consequences 
of those actions from the historical point of view. 
Significantly, the first revelation did not demand 
propagation. Also there was a pause of three years 
after the first revelation (96: 1-5) did not demand 
proselytization, the message began to be propagated. 

The first revelation 

At the time of the first revelation, the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) was in the cave of Hira. It was 
the month of December and it was very cold in 
Makkah. Immediately after the revelation was over 


387 



the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned to the city. 
On reaching his house he addressed his wife, saying: 
"Zammiluni, Zammiluni" (Wrap me up, wrap me 
up"). It is obvious that she complied with the request. 
Partly due to extreme cold and partly to fear 
provoked by the appearance of Gabriel and all what 
followed, the prophet (peace be upon him) had been 
shaken. 

Soon after the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
had overcome this feeling he narrated the whole 
incident to his wife Khadijah and concluded his 
account with the question: "Was it not the work of 
Satan? Have I become a diviner even though I have 
always condemned those who claim to be one"? She 
assured him that it was not so because he had helped 
people throughout his life; he had always provided 
the poor and the needy; he had always looked after 
orphans and widows; God would noy, therefore, 
abandon such a person, and He would surely not 
surrender him to Satan. The Wife then stated that her 
first cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal, was very 
knowledgeable in such matters. She suggested to her 
husband that he fully explain the phenomenon to him 
the next morning when they proposed to visit him. 
Then follow two versions. According to one, Khadijah 
took the Prophet (peace be upon him) to her cousin 
Waraqah ibn Nawfal who was a Christian. According 
to the other verision, Abu Bakr came to visit the 


388 



Prophet (peace be upon him) as usual in the morning 
when khadijah narrated to him the facts of the case or 
she requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) to 
narrate them to Abu Bakr. She then sent both the 
Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr to 
Waraqah ibn Nawfal of whom it is said that he had 
lost his eye-sight owing to old-age. After beaming the 
Prophet's account Waraqah exclaimed: "If whatever 
you have started is true, it resembles the nomos of 
Moses. If I am alive by the times your nation treats 
you badly and exiles you from the city, I will support 
you and strive to resolve your difficulties". The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: "Will the people 
treat me cruelly because I convey to them the message 
of God? Will they persecute me and exile me on this 
account"? Nawfal said: "Yes, they will. There has been 
no Prophet who was not persecuted by his people". 

What is the significance of the word nomos 
used by Waraqah ibn Nawfal? Some scholars suggest 
that the word is used for reliability and integrity. This, 
however, does not seem to suit the context. We could 
perhaps suggest another meaning. Waraqah ibn 
Nawfal had embraced Christianity. It is stated by 
Bukhari that he knew Syriac and had translated the 
Bible from Syriac into Arabic. Is it not possible, then, 
that a Greek word was then in use in the Syriac 
language? In Greek, the Torah is called nomos. What 
Waraqah really meant was that the message revealed 


389 



to the Prophet (peace be upon him) resembled the 
Torah. The word nomos fits in eminently in this 
context, and seems more suitable and reasonable than 
other explanations. 

It is difficult to say what the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) did after his meeting with Waraqah ibn 
Nawfal. He probably reiterated the fact of revelation 
to various people who saw him. We should complete 
the story of the first revelation by adding some minor 
details available in al-Baladhuri's Ansab al-Ashraf. It 
is recorded that after having conveyed the first verses 
of surah -al-Alaq, Gabriel taught the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) how to clean his body after answering 
the call of nature. Then he told him about ablutions 
which prepared a man physically as well as 
spiritually for the act of worship. Gabriel then led the 
prayer and the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed 
behind him. After that Gabriel left. 

We should not surprised under the 
circumstances when biographical accounts about the 
Prophet (peace be upon him) mention him as 
occasionally praying publicly along with his wife 
Khadijah in front of the Ka'bah. The way he prayed 
was different from that of the Makkans who were 
surprised at his new postures. The Qur'anic verses 
which condemn idolatry had not been revealed until 
then. The new religion, while causing surprise, had 
not yet provided angry retaliation. In any case there 


390 



were no more than three Muslims at the time- 
Khadijah, Abu Bakr and 'Ali', the yoing cousin and 
adopted son of the Prophet (peace be upon him). 
Then followed Zayd, the prophet's freed slave. This 
was the vanguard of Islam. 

PREACHING TO NEAR KINSMEN 

It was not before three years after the first 
revelation that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was 
asked to preach to his near relatives: "And warn thy 
nearest kinsmen" (26: 214). In compliance with the 
Divine command he adopted a new way of 
propagation. He asked 'Ali to buy some provisions 
and requested his wife to make arrangements for a 
feast. He then dispatched 'Ali to the houses of various 
relatives and asked them to a meal. The food was 
scanty and the guests were many (between thirty and 
forry people). And yet everyone ate heartily. Seeing 
this miracle Abu Lahab caustically remarked that the 
host was a magician! The Prophet (peace be upon 
him) was deeply hurt but did not say anything. 

A few days later he arranged treat. On this 
occasion he came out with a sermon. He requested the 
guests to stay on after the dinner for he wanted to say 
something. Everyone was curious why they had been 
invited. After the meal was over the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) dilated on the evils of idolatry and the 
significance of the unity of God. Then he touched on 


391 



life hereafter and man's accountability to God. He 
dwelt briefly on the fundamental principles that he 
espoused. The account of Tabari in this regard is 
interesting. He states that the concluding sentence of 
the Prophet's sermon was probably to the effect that 
whoever accepted his invitation to faith would one 
day be his caliph. It is said that 'Ali, who was a young 
lad at the time, stood up and declared his acceptance 
of Islam. Abu Lahab, the Prophet's uncle, laughed 
loudly, clapped his hands and said to Abu Talib: 
"Congratulations! From now onwards you are a 
subordinate of your son"! Abu Talib was 
embarrassed. He did not find it possible for the rest of 
his life to accept the prophethood of a nephew. 

PREACHING TO A WIDER AUDIENCE 

After some time the second revelation urging 
propagation was received: "So declare openly that 
with which thou art commanded and turn aside from 
those who ascribe partners to God" (15: 94). The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) felt some kind of an awe 
at this command. The whole city worshipped idols. 
Were he openly to condemn them as false and assert 
that their idols could not provide them with security 
and salvation, he would provoke the hostility and 
ridicule of all the people. Gabriel assured him that in 
such a situation God would protect him and not 
abandon him. 


392 



The Prophet (peace be upon him) then went 
out of the city. He climbed a hill. Standing on top of a 
high cliff he summoned the people as if an emergency 
had suddenly arisen. They came running to him. He 
announced that the wanted only to address a 
particular tribe. Those who did not belong to the tribe 
in question left. Then he named a branch of the tribe 
and said that he wanted to talk only to that branch. In 
short, he addressed a limited audience instead of 
speaking to the whole city. 

His address on the occasion was somewhat 
along the following lines: "O brothers, would you 
believe if I say that there is an army behind this hill 
and it waits to attack you"? Their reply was that they 
had not yet heard an untruth from him and that they 
would readily believe him if he made a statement that 
the enemy was in fact camping there. The Prophet 
(peace be upon him) then said that he warned them of 
a much greater army and that was the retribution and 
terror of Allah in case they insisted on denying Him 
and pursued idol worship. In that event Allah would 
consign them to Hell after death. 

Among others that day, the uncle of the 
Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Lahab, was also 
present. He asked in a rage: "Was it for this useless 
sermon that you wasted our time"? He then left and 
others followed him. 


393 



ABU LAHAB'S OPPOSITION 

It would not be out of place here to examine 
why Abu Lahab hated his nephew, the Prophet 
Muhammad (peace be upon him). Baladhuri relates 
an incident in Ansab al-Ashraf. The two brothers, Abu 
Lahab and Abu Talib, one quarrelled over a trivial 
matter. Abu Lahab flung his brother flat on the floor, 
pounced on his chest and slapped him. The Prophet 
(peace be upon him), who was a ward of Abu Talib 
after the death of his grandfather, ran to his rescue 
and pushed away Abu Lahab from the chest of his 
brother. Abu Talib got up and settled his score by 
pushing down Abu Lahab and sitting on his chest. 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) kept watching the 
scuffle. Abu Lahab angrily retorted; "O Muhammad! 
Abu Talib is your uncle and so am 1. You helped him. 
But why did you not come to my rescue? By God, 
there will be no love for you in my heart ever". 

Baladhuri has recorded this trivial incident. It 
is a psychological fact that sensitive persons can react 
strongly to apparently small things which leave a 
lasting effect on them. This was possibly the reason 
why Abu Lahab developed an intense enmity to his 
nephew and all that he stood for. He is considered 
one of the most inveterate enemies of Islam. 

As a result of these early efforts at propagation, 
news spread in the whole city that Muhammad (peace 
be upon him) claimed to be a Prophet and condemned 


394 



the ancestral religion as false and misleading. He was 
opposed virtually to everything people believed in. 
Hatred against the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
became more virulent until city fathers and the local 
government forbade him to pray in his down peculiar 
way in front of the Ka'bah. He then began to pray 
either in his own house or away from the city in an 
open desert. Unbelievers, however, did not relent in 
their opposition. They would come to see him and 
engage him in a discussion in order to ridicule him. 

His uncle Abu Lahab was the ring leader of the 
party. When he came to know that the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) prayed in the Ka'bah late at night under 
cover of darkness, he collected thorny branches from 
the tress and scattered them all over the path. He also 
used to pile heaps of filfth at the threshold of the 
Prophet's house. Obstructions notwithstanding, the 
Prophet (peace be upon him) persevered in his efforts 
at propagating the faith. But soon he had to face 
another problem. The people of Makkah encouraged 
street urchins to pursue the Prophet (peace be upon 
him) and pelt stones at him. Whenever this happened, 
according to the historian Maqrizi, he would take 
refuge in the house of Abu Sufyan if he happened to 
be near it. Even though he was not a Muslim, Abu 
sufyan always protected the Prophet (peace be upon 
him) against the vagabonds, reprimanded them and 


395 



made them run away. The Prophet (peace be upon 
him) would then safely return to his house. 

After having mentioned this incident Maqrizi 
refers to a later incident. At the eve of the conquest of 
Makkah there was a crier at the head of every 
contingent. The crier, while passing through the 
streets of the city, shouted aloud that everyone who 
laid down arms would be safe, everyone who 
remained indoors whould be safe, everyone who 
sought refuge in the Ka'bah would be safe, and 
everyone who went to the house of Abu Sufyan 
would also be safe. Maqrizi suggests that this 
distinction was conferred on Abu Sufyan because, 
before Migration, he used to protect the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) from nasty scoundrels in the 
streets of Makkah. 

Delegation to the negus 

The campaign of propagation continued for 
four or five years. The persecution by the pagans 
became so intense during this period that it became 
impossible for Muslims to remain in the country. 
Some of them, therefore, left for Abyssinia on the 
advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who told 
them that the Christian king there was kind and 
tolerant. Since there was freedom of religion in 
Abyssinia, the emigrants from Makkah also began to 


396 



preach their own religion with the result that within a 
few years some forty Abyssinians embraced Islam. 

But there were difficulties as well. The pagans 
of Makkah sent a delegation to the Negus and they 
demanded that their compatriots from Makkah 
should be handed over to them. They wanted to take 
the Muslims back with them to renew the process of 
persecution. But the Negus did not make an arbitrary 
decision. He sent for the Muslims and told them that 
it was alleged that they were renegades from Makkah 
from where they had fled in order to escape 
punishment for crimes they had committee there. 
Ja'far al-Tayyar, the first cousin of the Prophet (peace 
be upon him), spoke on behalf of the Muslims from 
Makkah. Before we deal with his speech we should 
like to offer a personal inference which is not 
mentioned in historical works. 

Among the letters of the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) we have one which is addressed to the 
Negus. It says: "I am sending my cousin Ja'far to you. 
Offer hospitality to him and his companions on 
arrival. Treat them well and do not be stubborn in this 
regard". Tabari has included this letter among the 
events of 7 AH. It is possible that it was given to Ja'far 
al-Tayyar as a letter of introduction and he delivered 
it to the Negus in the fifth year of propethood. In 7 
AH the Muslim emigrants to Abyssinia were already 
returning to Madinah after a stay of fifteen years. It 


397 



would be meaningless, therefore, to present the letter 
of introduction at the time of departure for Madinah. 
Despite the silence of historians on this issue, it needs 
to be stated that the letter in question was carried by 
the first emigrants from Makkah to Abyssinia. 

Incidentally, the Negus of Abyssinia, according 
to the historian Suhayli, was once obliged to live in 
Arabia in order to escape from the clutches of his 
uncle who was a tyrant. He lived in Badr, a place 
where the Quraysh caravans halted on their way to 
and from Syria. It is quite possible that the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) who also travelled in these 
caravans might have met him personally in Badr. 

Reverting to Ja'far's defence of Islam in the 
court of the Negus, he availed himself of the 
opportunity to dwell on the leading features of the 
faith. He also explained why Muslims were accused 
of disturbing law and order. He concluded his 
defence by quoting from the Qur'an and real a few 
verses from surah Maryam (surahW) in which it has 
been stated that with Divine command Mary gave 
birth to Jesus without a father. At hearing this, 
historians narrate, the Negus picked-up a straw and 
said that Jesus was not a bit more than this (i.e, straw) 
and that whatever was narrated in the Qur'anic verses 
was absolutely correct. 

It is not known for certain whether the Negus 
accepted Islam but there are indications that he did. 


398 



His conversion to Islam might have taken place later 
if not at the time of Ja'far's address because, according 
to Bukhari, the Prophet (peace be upon him) led a 
funeral prayer in absentia when he received news in 
Madinah of the Negus' death. It is obvious that he 
could not have offered such a prayer for an 
unbeliever. It is reasonable to presume, therefore, that 
the Negus had embraced Islam and that he had 
conveyed this information to the Prophet (peace be 
upon him). 

The failure of the Makkan delegation to obtain 
the expulsion of Muslims from Abyssinia provoked 
hostile reaction in Makkah where the persecution of 
Muslims was further intensified. Among other 
measures the Quraysh decided on a total boycott of 
the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family. No 
one was allowed to have matrimonial relations with 
them; no one was to sell any merchandise to them. 
Even conversation was forbidden. This declaration 
was written on a parchment and hung in the Ka'bah. 
The Makkans were determined fully to observe it. The 
boycott continued for several years. A number of 
Muslims died in consequence owing to starvation. 
The Banu Hashim suffered untold misery. The 
boycott, however, eventually ended. 

PRESECUTION AND VISIT TO TATF 


399 



when the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
returned to the city, he was deeply distressed to 
discover that people were not willing even to hear the 
world Islam. It was during this period that Abu Talib 
died, and the other uncle, Abu Lahab, somehow 
managed to become head of the tribe. The first step he 
took was to excommunicate the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) from the tribe which meant that his tribe 
would no longer seek the customary revenge if the 
Prophet (peace be upon him) was killed. 

The shield of tribal protection was thus 
withdrawn. The action compelled the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) to leave the city and preach elsewhere. 
He selected Ta'if for this purpose. This was the city of 
his relatives from the mother's slide. He went there 
with high hopes but he had to face more trouble in 
Ta'if than he had met in Makkah. The relatives 
discouraged him and asked the nephew to leave the 
city or else his life would not be safe there. The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) was obliged to leave. 

As he came out of the city street urchins 
followed him and pelted stones at him at the 
instigation of the elders. The Prophet (peace be upon 
him) was wounded. Outside the city he saw an 
orchard at whose gate stood a guard. With his 
permission he entered the orchard. The guard was a 
kind-hearted Christian. He scared away the urchins 
and offered hospitally to the visitor with the 


400 



permission of his master who was a resisdent of 
Makkah. He offered the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
a bunch of grapes. 

An incident then took place. It could be 
considered an indirect way of propagation. The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) began to eat grapes after 
pronouncing Bismillah ("in the name of Allah"). The 
guard was taken aback and asked about the formula 
with which he was not familiar. The visitor told him 
that he was a Prophet (peace be upon him) and God 
had commanded him to begin everything with His 
name. He then asked the guard about his identity. He 
disclosed that he was a Christian originally from 
Ninevah (now Mosul) and that he was a slave. The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) remarked that he guard 
was resident of a town in which his brother Prophet 
Yunus (Jonah) used to live At this the Christian 
spontaneously kissed the feet of the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) and asked him how he knew that Yunus 
used to live there. 

First Ray of Hope 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then left for 
Makkah. At some distance from the orchard he felt 
somewhat tired and stopped there. The night had 
fallen. He began to pray and concluded with a prayer 
which is so powerful and poignant that it leaves a 
deep impression on one's mind even today. It was 


401 



something to this effect: "O Allah! I beseech You in 
my helpessness. People find me weak. But You alone 
are the Lord of the oppressed. O my God! What 
should I do? Distant relations are treating me with 
disdain. Near relations have become my enemies. Still 
I am not daunted if only I know that You are not 
angry with me. I seek safety and refuge in You and 
Your pleasure alone I crave for From You alone I seek 
strength and power to pursue the cause". Such was 
the resolve and determination of the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) to do his duty despite all difficulties, 
dangers and obstacles in his way. 

It was a Divine text. The Prophet (peace be 
upon him) came out of it triumphant. "A hundred 
thousand stars bleed for the sake of a dawn", says 
Muhammad Iqbal. The Prophet (peace be upon him) 
had barely finished his prayer when signs of its 
acceptance already began to appear. The prayer had 
been answered. An importance event occurred. The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) received the revelation 
which began with the words: "Say: It has been 
revealed to me that a company of the jinn listened, 
and they said: "Truly we have heard a Qur'an that is 
wonderful" (72:1). 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) neither saw 
nor felt the presence of the jinn. He became aware of 
them only when God gave him the news. This meant 
that he was a Prophet (peace be upon him) not only 


402 



for mankind but for the jinn as well. If men were 
rejecting his message, at least jinn were responding to 
him. This was the first ray of hope he saw in a dismal 
state of deep disappointment. 

Slowly the Prophet (peace be upon him) began 
to walk back to Makkah. A new trouble awaited him 
there. After rejection by Abu Lahab and his departure 
from the city he had lost the nationality of Makkah. 
He could not, therefore, enter the city unless one of its 
inhabitants offered him asylum. He gave some money 
to a Bedouin and asked him to go to a certain relative 
of his mother with a request for asylum. He returned 
with the message that the man in question had 
declined the request because he was a resident of Ta'if 
and not of Makkah, and could not, therefore, exercise 
the right. He gave some more money to the Bedouin 
and sent him to a relative of his wife, Sawdah. He too 
declined. He then sent the same person to a relative of 
Khadijah. His response was positive. Along with his 
children and near relatives he came fully armed to the 
Prophet (peace be upon him) and took him to Makkah 
under his protection. In defence to the established 
custom the Prophet (peace be upon him) had first to 
go round the Ka'bah before proceeding to his house. 
He performed the rite publicly and then went home. 

Before his journey to Ta'if the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) had lost his uncle Abu Talib and then 
his wife, Khadijah, the two pillars of support. It was 


403 



in this state of grief that he had gone to Ta'if. On 
return to Makkah he lost his nationality and was 
treated as an alien in the protection of a citizen. 
Having been stripped of his civic rights he did not 
enjoy the freedom to participate in the political life of 
the city and could not, therefore, speak about his 
creed. God provided a solution to the impasse. 
According to the customary law of Makkah general 
amnesty was proclaimed during the period of 
pilgrimage. Even murderers and criminals who 
remained underground throughout the year came out 
in the open during the Hajj season and enjoyed 
freedom of movement. In view of the confirmed 
enmity of the Makkans to Islam, the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) thought of approaching pilgrims from 
other tribes who came to Makkah for the pilgrimage. 
He met with some success in this direction. According 
to Ibn Hisham, the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
approached at least fifteen tribes. He asked them to 
accept Islam which would make it possible for them 
to inherit the treasures of the Caesar and Chosroes but 
they did not respond. The sixteenth group which 
consisted of six persons from Madinah was the only 
exception. The six looked at each other as if it was a 
visual consultation. After some initial hesitation they 
accepted the invitation to embrace Islam. This was the 
first Covenant of 'Aqabah. 


404 



First Convenant of ' Aqabah 

A large number of jews at that time lived in 
Madinah. Whenever there was an altercation between 
the Arabs and the Jews the latter always warned 
Arabs of the advent of the last Prophet (peace be upon 
him) whom they would follow. And this, they said, 
would mean the extinction of Arabs. For all their men, 
women children would then be put to the sword. 

These men of Madinah to whom the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) was preaching in Makkah 
thought of pre-empting the Jews by being the first to 
embrace Islam. That is why they were exchanging 
glances as if they were talking through their eyes. All 
of them sincerely accepted Islam. On return to 
Madinah they began to preach it to others with some 
success. A year later twelve new converts came to 
Makkah during the month of Dbu'l-Hijjab and took 
the oath at the hands of the Prophet (peace be upon 
him) at 'Aqabah. 

After this we come across a few interesting 
events. The Prophet (peace be upon him) nominated 
twelve men who belonged to different tribes as his 
representatives among their respective people. And 
he named one of them as the chief. This step is 
indicative of his preference for discipline and his 
awareness of the need to create a system with a 
central administration. 


405 



His act of nomination demonstrated that the 
people nominated by him could also be removed by 
him and were, therefore, subordinate to him. They 
were bound to carry out his orders. The nominees 
requested for a teacher who could accompany them to 
Madinah and help spread the message. The Prophet 
(peace be upon him) sent Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr, an 
extremely sincere Muslim, who had a good idea of the 
psychology of people. He was eminently suitable for 
the purpose in view. It is recorded that he scored a 
spectacular success in converting a large number of 
people including the most unsophisticated lot. An 
interesting case might be mentioned in this 
connection. 

Examples of Propagation 

Mus'ab was once preaching to a crowd of 
salves- men, women and children- in an orchard. The 
owner did not like it. He sent a servant to take him to 
task for trespass and throw him out of the orchard. 
The man had already become a Muslim. He made an 
excuse and returned to tell the master that the 
intruder was adamant and suggested that he should 
personally proceed to expel him. 

In fact he had wanted that the master should 
listen to the preacher who charmed everyone into 
embracing Islam through the power of eloquence and 
the magic of his speech. The master came arrogantyly 


406 



flying his spear in the air and threatened to kill the 
preacher if he did not immediately leave the premises. 
Instead of being scared, Mus'ab welcomed him with a 
smile and said; "Allow me to ask a question: Why do 
you want to turn me out without finding out, in the 
first instance, what I am trying to say? Would it not be 
more appropriate if you were to listen to what I am 
saying and then you have and absolute right to throw 
me out". The man stuck his spear into the ground and 
sat down, and asked Mus'ab to proceed with his 
speech. He began as usual with the recitation of a 
verse from the Qur'an. It had a soothing effect. 

Instead of anger and resentment, signs of calm 
and a new consciousness began to appear on his face. 
Before the recitation was over he got up and asked 
how he could become a Muslim. Then he affirmed 
God's unity and Muhammad's (peace be on him) 
Messengership and became a believer. He got up 
flying his spear in the air and went to his house. There 
he asked the entire household - women, children and 
slaves - to gather around him. He asked them who he 
was and they replied that he was their leader, the 
most wise of all. Then he ordered all of them to 
become Muslims or else he would be their sworn 
enemy. The whole family embraced Islam. 

Obviously with the conversion of the leader it 
becomes relatively easy to convert those subordinate 
to him. We come across various ways of propagating 


407 



Islam. This is one of them. There are many instances 
in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which 
show how he propagated Islam, but we will cite just a 
few and them conclude. 

A stranger once came to the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) and was treated as a guest. He was given 
food to eat and a room to sleep in. He was in fact an 
enemy and had come with bad intentions. Early in the 
morning he relieved himself in the bed and left before 
anyone woke up. When the Prophet (peace be upon 
him) went to his room in the morning he saw the 
muck and started washing the bed with his own 
hands. He noticed that the guest had inadvertently 
left his sword behind. 

The stanger missed the sword after he had 
covered some distance and returned to recover it. He 
had throught that people would still be asleep and 
that he would quickly make away with the sword. 
But he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) cleaning 
his bed with his own hands. Instead of cursing or 
threatening him the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
softly stated that he had forgotten his sword and 
could take it away. As a result of this treatment the 
stranger spontaneously said; "I bear witness that there 
is no God but Allah and I bear witness that 
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah", So saying he 
embraced Islam. 


408 



There is another incident. The Prophet (peace 
be upon him) was leading a military expedition. The 
enemy fled on receiving the news. They were not able 
to go very far because the area was hilly and had to 
seek safety in a narrow pass or a valley. The head of 
the tribe climbed up the hill to survey the field. It 
rained that day with the result that the Prophet (peace 
be upon him) and his Companions were dispersed. 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) lay down alone 
under a tree. He hung his shirt on a branch of the tree 
so that it would dry up. The enemy spotting him 
alone confronted him. Drawing his sword he shouted: 
"Who will save you from me, O Muhammad"? The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) was perfectly calm. 
"Allah"! he replied. The entry was so overwhelmed 
with the monosyllable that his hand began to shake 
and the sword fell on the ground. The Prophet (peace 
be upon him) picked it up and asked: "Who will save 
you now from me"? The enemy replied: "Nobody". 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) returned his sword 
and forgave him. The result was that the enemy 
immediately recited the formula affirming God's 
unity and Muhammad's Messengership and 
embraced Islam. He returned to his tribe to preach it 
to others. 

There is also that famous incident after the 
conquest of Makkah when the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) proclaimed general amnesty for all. The 


409 



result was the overnight conversion of the entire 
population of Makkah. These were the means he 
adopted to propagate Islam. The result is known to 
all. 


Success Achieved by the Prophet 

A comparative study of the number of people 
converted by different Prophets would reveal the 
extraordinary success achieved by Muhammad (peace 
be upon him). Judging from the relevant details on 
the subject in the Bible, the maximum number of 
converts at the hands of Jesus did not exceed the 
number of forty. 

It is said of Moses that his people whose 
number, according to the Bible, was half a million, 
lent him full support but it was confined only to 
securing freedom from the tyranny of the Pharaoh. 
The number of true converts was almost cipher. After 
the exodus from Egypt Moses asked his followers to 
capture Palestine, a gift promised them by God. They 
refused on the plea that they could not fight tyrants. If 
God had made the promise, they said, "Go thou and 
thy Lord and fight, and here we sit"! (5; 24). In other 
words, the whole community disobeyed and refused 
to resolutely carry out the Divine command. There 
were only two of his servant who later became a 
Prophet i.e, Joshua. Except for the two not a soul 
followed Moses. 


410 



Jesus had twelve faithful disciples. Of these St 
Peter was one. His grave is in the Vatican in Italy. Of 
him Jesus says in the Bible: "Go! O Satan"! This 
indictment must be due to some action of his. Another 
disciple was Yahuda, who turned apostate. He 
betrayed Jesus to the authorities who were looking for 
him. As against this, the number of people who 
embraced Islam at the hands of the Prophet (peace be 
upon him) is too much larger. 

We do not have the exact figures but an 
approximate assessment is possible. At the time of the 
Farewell Pilgrimage, historians reckon a crowd of 
140,000 in the plain of 'Arafat. And Hajj is not an 
obligation which everyone has to discharge every 
year. It is obvious that all the Muslims had not 
gathered there. Assuming that one out of every five 
performed Hajj, the total would werk out at over half 
a million. The figure compares fairly favourably with 
the total of forty converts to Christianity during the 
life of Jesus. 

Moreover, the incidence of apostasy in the 
history of Islam has been very rare. We come across 
only one or two cases of this nature during the life of 
the Prophet (peace be upon him). But strictly 
speaking, the people concerned were hypocrites 
rather than Muslims. They had put on the mask of 
Islam with a view to subvert it from within. It is only 


411 



when they failed to achieve their objective that they 
openly declared their disbelief. 

Policy Towards Non-Muslims 

Let us conclude with a brief account of the 
policy and attitude of Islam towards non-Muslims. 
Everyone is familiar with the principle propounded in 
the Qur'anic verses: "There should be no compulsion 
in religion" (2: 256). "The duty is only to convey the 
Message" (42: 48). Compulsion is thus ruled out for 
the purpose of propagation of Islam. The duty of the 
Porphet (peace be upon him) is merely to 
communicate and propagate the Message. The result 
is in the Hand of God. Of the period of the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) and the regime of his Rightly- 
Guided Caliphs it can be said without any fear of 
contradiction that no one was ever converted through 
compulsion. 

The Qur'an lays down a unique principle in 
regard to the treatment of non-Muslims. It grants 
complete autonomy to every religious community 
which enjoys not only freedom of faith and worship 
in its own way but is free to follow its own laws and 
decide cases through its own judges. The concept of 
complete internal autonomy has been advanced in a 
number of Qur'anic verses, one of which is extremely 
clear: "And let the people of the Gospel judge 
according to what Allah has revealed therein" (5: 47). 


412 



This means that Christians should judge 
according to the laws given by God in the Bible. In 
deference to this principle, every religious community 
was granted complete autonomy during the time of 
the Prophet (peace be upon him). They enjoyed as 
much freedom in respect of their religion, worship 
and legal matters as did any Muslim. A little later a 
new development took place. It was made incumbent 
on every Muslim to participate in jihad but non- 
Muslims were exempted from this duty for the simple 
reasn that they could not be compelled to wage a war 
for the sake of Islam. Muslims defended the frontiers 
of the state and laid down their lives for it but non- 
Muslim subjects of the state enjoyed the fruits of 
peace, safety and security. They only paid a small 
price for this enviable privilege, by way of a tax called 
jizyah. This was not an innovation of Islam. It was the 
legacy of Iran where those who did not discharge 
military duty had to pay this tax. Islam inherited the 
institution from Iran. The tax on non-Muslim subjects 
was very light. It was equivalent to ten day's food in a 
year - a small price to pay for being guaranteed full 
protection as a citizen and exemption from military 
duties. 

No discrimination was exercised against non- 
Muslims on the basis of religion. In 2 AH, after the 
Muslim victory in the Battle of Badr, Makkans sent 
yet another delegation to the Negus with a view to 


413 



seek the repatriation of Muslims from Abyssinia so 
that they could be persecuted at home. To counter the 
move, the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent a non- 
Muslim, 'Amr ibn Umayyah al-Damri, as his 
ambassador to the court of the Negus. 

The attitude of the Prophet (peace be upon 
him) towards his Jewish neighbours was kind and 
cordial. He always visited their homes to enquire after 
the health of their sick children. There was a Jewish 
tribe by the name of Banu 'Arid in Madinah. The 
Prophet (peace be upon him) had been pleased with 
them for some reason and had fixed an annual 
stipend for them. Whenever the funeral of a Jew 
passed by in a street the Prophet (peace be upon him) 
always stood up as a mark of sympathy. 

The attitude of Muslims towards their non- 
Muslim compatriots was one of kindness, 
consideration and extreme tolerance. They 
reciprocated the generous treatment with their trust 
and loyalty. A civil war started in the Muslim state 
during the Caliphate of 'Uthman and continued down 
the ages but never once did non-Muslim subjects raise 
a standard of revolt. They sided neither with one nor 
the other party. They always remained neutral and 
never took advantage of the situation. The thought of 
betrayal or revolt never crossed their mind. The ruler 
of Byzantium strongly urged the Christian subjects of 
Islam to rise in revolt while a civil war was raging 


414 



between 'AH' and Mu'awiyah. He promised to liberate 
them by attacking Muslims, but he did not succeed in 
provoking a rebellion. The efforts continued down the 
ages until the Crusades but the Christian subjects of 
Islam always responded by saying that they preferred 
the pagan ruler (i.e. the Muslims) to their co¬ 
religionists. 

The reason for this loyalty was the fact that 
Muslims never compelled Christians to abandon their 
religion. They enjoyed complete religious freedom. 
Their religious institutions received aid and assistance 
from Muslims. We have an authentic original 
document belonging to the period of 'Umar in which 
a Christian gives the good news to his co-religionists 
in another city saying that a new nation had taken 
over as their ruler but it did not indulge in tyranny. 
On the contrary it protected their churches and gave 
financial aid to their converts. 

The Expeditions at a Glance 

The expedition of Tabuk, which took place in 
the month of Rajab, 9 A. H., was the last campaign 
during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. The number 
of his battles was twenty-seven while he is reported to 
have sent out sixty forays and expeditions, although 
no fighting and taken place in many of them. 

Never in the history of human conflicts had 
any conqueror shed so little blood and was crowned 


415 



with such a remarkable success. In all these battles 
only 1018 persons, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, 
lost their lives. But, it would be to attempt the 
impossible to have any guess as to how much blood 
of the ferocious Arabs was saved from being spilled 
or how many souls escaped degradation and 
debasement because of this negligible loss of human 
life. Such was the public tranquility and orderliness 
resulting from the Prophet's campaigns that a woman 
pilgrim would go from Hira to Mecca and return after 
circumambulating the K'aba without any fear in her 
heart save that of God. Another report says that the 
women from Qadessia went alone on their 
dromedaries for pilgrimage to Mecca without the 
least anxiety or fear. This was the country in which, 
from the time immemorial, fights and forays, battles 
between nomadic tribes and raids on one another's 
flocks and property had been accepted as 
unquestionable as a part of the desert life. Even the 
caravans of neighbouring powerful kingdoms dared 
not cross the country in pre-Islamic days without 
powerful escorts and guides. 

The campaigns of the Holy Prophet were 
warranted by two universal truths enunciated in the 
Qur'an. One of these says that 'presecution is worse 
than slaughter, and the other declares. There is life for 
you in retaliation, O men of understanding." These 
twin principles, which aimed at refusal to acquiesce in 


416 



wrongdoing and urged to strive for the defence of 
honour and justice, very soon established peace and 
order at the cost of minimum labour and time on the 
part of Muslims under the benevolent and elaborate 
guidance of the Prophet who was ever vigilant to 
secure the well-being and enlightenment of the enemy 
instead of allowing the satisfaction of vindictive 
feelings to become the objective of his campaigns. 
Whenever the Apostle sent out any detachment for 
forays or gave battle to the enemy, he invariably 
issued strict instructions to his men to be God-fearing 
and kind to the friends as well as to the foes. The 
directions he once gave to his troops were: 

"I ask you to fear God and to be considerate to 
the Muslims with you. Fight in the name of God and 
slay those in His name who have disbelieved Him. 
Neither should you break your promise, nor pilfer the 
spoils, nor kill any child or women or a man infirm 
and old or a priest who has withdrawn to seclusion. 
Never lay your hands on a date-palm, nor chop down 
a tree, nor yet pull down any building." 

And, how successful were these campaigns of 
the Apostle can be judged from the fact that within a 
brief period of ten years more than a million square 
miles was won for Islam : the Islamic state expanded 
at an average rate of some 274 square miles daily at 
the cost of one martyr a month. This respect for 
human blood is unequalled in the annals of man. The 


417 



truth of this assertion is amply borne out if the losses 
of these campaigns are placed by the side of casualties 
in the last two world wars, the first of which was 
fought from 1914 to 1918 and the second from 1939 to 
1945. According to computation of the Encylopedia 
Britannica, 64 hundred thousand persons lost their 
lives in the first war and the number of casualties in 
the second ranged between 35 and 60 millions. 

Yet, none of these two blood-stained wars can 
be claimed to have done any good to the humanity 
nor did they solve any problem of the world. 

The ecclesiastical tribunals, known as 
Inquisitions, established by the Roman Catholic 
Church in the Middle Ages for the trial and 
punishment of heretics are reported to have taken the 
toll of 12 million lives (John Devenport : Apology for 
Muhammad and Quran). 

Differences between the Makkars and 
Madinan approaches of Dawah and 
Preaching 

In comparison to the thirteen - year long period 
of the Prophet he spent in Makkah, the results of the 
work of dawah during the ten-year long sojourn in 
Madina are far too outshining. In the course of the 
Madinan period, a much larger part of the land was 
conquered and the territorial boundaries of the newly 
estbalished Islamic state were expanded first time in 


418 



the history of the Arabia. The number of the 
Companions and mujahids of the Holy Prophet 
(SAWS) attending him at the historic juncture of the 
Last Pilgrimage runs into tens of thousands. 

For this yawning difference between the results 
of the Holy Prophet's and his dedicated Companions' 
preaching efforts the following reasons might be 
assigned: 

• Makka lacked the protective shield for Muslims. 

• It, in the like manner, lacked even the most 
essential resources for organisations and 
institutionalisation of the work of dawa and 
preaching the message of Islam. Considering from 
the viewpoint of dawah opportunities there, Makka 
remained a place of extreme religious persecution 
and unfriendly to the promotion of the message of 
Islam. 

• For the most part, the Makkan period remained 
the centre of focus of the ideological preaching of 
the primary tenets of Islam; and there was hardly 
anything to offer any attraction to the people . 

• Tazkiya of Nafs, purification of the soul, was the 
most focal point of all efforts there, away from an 
environment of confrontation against the 
persecutors. And permission was never granted to 
come into armed conflict with the savage 
persecutors, the repeated wishes of Muslims 
notwithstanding . In total contrast, in Madinah 


419 



the permission to fight the forces of persecution 
was granted in unambiguous words, besides 
concentrating on self- purification. For the 
Muslims in Madina were no longer in need to 
suppress their defence impulsives. They now 
needed to divert their defence capabilities against 
the evil forces. 

Important lessons to be drawn from the Prophetic 
Approach of the preaching of Islam 

Premised on this short analysis of the reasons 
that operated in both the centres of Islamic dawah, we 
may safely draw some great lessons. For a history 
student these lessons might not hold much good ; a 
sensitive and wakeful believer, however, holds them 
dear and uses them to secure more insights to be used 
to enhance his present and build prospects for his 
better religious future. Such points may be 
summarised as follows: 

• No religious movement could ever be 
successful unless the working individuals 
attain a high degree of self purification and 
build their character along the lines of original 
Islamic teachings. Morally uneducated herd of 
people can achieve no remarkable and 
enduring success. Such a herd is very much 
like a hillock unable to withstand, even the 
slightest push of air. 


420 



• Since every new movement, sacred or secular, 
is bound to face hardships, especially in its 
initial phase, this makes it incumbent that 
working people must have a higher degree of 
constancy, immaculate sincerity, godliness and 
an uninflinching faith in the soundness of their 
ideal goal. A lack of constancy in other 
indispensable qualities is bound to displease 
and bore them even in the face of an ordinary 
ordeal. Lack of godliness and solicitude, 
likewise, will breed only the hypocrites who 
may any time hit the movement even much 
harder than the outside enemy. Concentration 
of attention in the pursuance of a goal is of 
course a precondition without which all efforts 
are bound to go waste and bear no positive 
result, and the movement will eventually will 
ruine. 

• The members of the struggling and the 
endeavouring group have always to be 
encouraged to be competitive, rather 
aggressive, towards the opposing and 
destructive forces. Instilling in their hearts the 
feelings of retreat and defeat shall doubtlessly 
prove to be self-destructive, ultimately doomed 
to meet the same fate as proved a natural truth 
to Christianity and Gandhism. 


421 



• The supporting individuals and groups be 
better equipped with the newest possible 
military ways of fighting and an adroit use of 
their weaponry during the real time military 
confrontation with the forces of devil. They 
should be made so agile that a slighter point is 
sufficient for their forceful activation. 

• Cultivating higher moral qualities in the 
associated people and unleashing their 
potentials in such a way as to enable them 
shoulder any type of responsibility when 
nuded. 

• The leadership should concentrate all its 
attention and efforts on a particular area, 
without unnecessarily scattering the attention 
to any areas a lying outside the centre of 
attention. Decentralisation of the efforts, even if 
the workforce is much mightier, will obviously 
harm the progress of the movement and the 
working group may take very much time to 
achieve the ideal goal. Whatever the Holy 
Prophet (SAWS) achieved within a span of just 
two decades offers a most conspicuous 
example to this effect. Had the Holy Prophet 
(SAW) started his work with a universal 
address from the first day, it would have been 
very unlikely for all of his efforts to achieve 
such an uncomparably greater success. For 


422 



spreading one's efforts to unmanageable limits 
is bound to distract the attention and waste the 
time and resources. For all people and 
movements meant to reform the Holy 
Prophet's example should work as a perfect 
role model. Without following his guidelines 
no reform movement could ever receive real 
success. 

• Creating a deeper sense of responsibility in 
each and every member of the group. To this 
effect the Holy Prophet (SAWS) has aptly said : 
Beware! All of you are responsible and every 
responsible shall be accountable to his subjects. 

• Conferring the official positions only on the 
people of trust. The men at the helm must not 
use their position for their undue benefits. 
Obedience and respect to the governors and 
commanders is a duty of the subjects. The 
person going against the command of the ruler 
in fact disobeys Allah. An open rebellion 
against the amir is a much graver sin leading to 
capital punishment. 

• Before resorting to a negative step to counter 
the enemy , all positive steps have to be tried. 
To be pecise, violence has always to be met 
with positive steps and an open confrontation 
has to be avoided as far as possible. Their 
doubts have to be cleared, and their 


423 



unnecessary apprehensions have to be 
removed with a wise policy. In case the 
circumstances necessitate the confrontation, the 
activity must be decisive and swift, involving 
less resources, both human and material. 

• Foreign policy should be too strong to be 
disturbed by any third power. Pacts should be 
formed and guarded with a cute sense of 
caution and watchfulness. Conspirators have to 
be duly punished. 

• For the dessimination of one's ideals on a 
wider scale the means of communication might 
be used. The focus, however, should be on the 
living people to epitomize those ideas and 
moral qualities. Cultural identity and the 
national language have to be preserved at all 
cost. 

• These are the important points which the 
practical aspect of the Seerah reflect well. 

• Most of the movements of the modern age go 
against the Prophetic way of gradual 
development. From the very first day of their 
launch these reform movements begin 
dreaming a universal character by spreading 
their efforts beyond their potential limits. This 
results in their total failure. As far as the 
planning is concerned , the movement should 
be universal. The efforts, however, should 


424 



better be concentrated on a particular area. 
Only this approach could ensure positive 
results. 

• The movements of the recent past which 
achieved remarkable success in their areas of 
activity remind us of the fact. In spite of their 
courage, zeal and a wider range of their reform 
programme, such movements focussed their 
concentration on particular areas and regions. 
This concentration ensured them the amplitude 
of success and great achievements which 
otherwise were unthinkable. 


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426 



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430 






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